I-20 wreck kills 2 Vicksburg sisters

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Mississippi Highway patrolmen work Tuesday afternoon at the scene of a wreck that killed two Vicksburg sisters.(Melanie Duncan Thortis The Vicksburg Post)

[5/14/2003]Two Vicksburg sisters died Tuesday when their car struck the rear of an 18-wheeler on Interstate 20 just east of the city.

Courtney Lloyd Hubert, 19, was driving Erin Elizabeth Hubert, 12, to a school band event about 4:30 from their home at 2262 Tiffentown Road in Bovina, Sheriff Martin Pace said.

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Their 1997 Honda Civic struck the back of a tractor-trailer that had slowed or stopped due to an earlier wreck a mile ahead of them, Pace said.

Both girls died instantly of multiple head injuries, Warren County Deputy Coroner Larry Chisley said.

The driver of the truck was Kenneth Bailey, 38, 485 Olive Drive, Choudrant, La., and he was not injured, Vicksburg Fire Department records show. He was, however, taken from the scene. He was “very upset, very emotional,” and called for his supervisor to pick him up, said Deputy Fire Chief Rose Shaifer.

Courtney, a standout soccer player at Warren Central High School who won the state player-of-the-year award as a senior, had just finished her freshman year at Mississippi State University, where she was also playing soccer.

Erin, a sixth-grader at Warren Central Intermediate School, was to be recognized at an end-of-year awards ceremony for having made straight A’s since kindergarten and having no disciplinary problems all year, Principal Michael Winters said.

They were the daughters of Billy and Cheryl Hubert.

Courtney was driving Erin to Warren Central Junior High, where she was to be judged on playing scales on her saxophone, said her friend and classmate Hannah Frith, daughter of Erin’s homeroom teacher, Penny Frith.

Courtney, home for the summer from Starkville, was to coach youth soccer in Vicksburg this summer. At Warren Central, she had been a National Honor Society member and had been selected All-State goalkeeper twice. As a senior, she was chosen the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year, becoming the school’s sixth soccer player and first girl to win the award. She had started six of 20 games as an MSU freshman.

“I’ve never seen a goalie in this county as good as her,” said Kevin Manton, coach for the rival team at Vicksburg High.

Betty Ann Casey of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a rising sophomore at Mississippi State and one of Courtney’s teammates on the Lady Bulldogs. “Courtney was our goalkeeper and obviously had to be a leader,” she said. “She was one of the girls who broke the ice when something was wrong.”

Erin was “very happy all the time, full of life,” Penny Frith said.

“As far as being a model student, she was one,” Winters said.

“She was well-liked by her classmates. She was lively, and she enjoyed being at school and with her friends,” Winters said.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol was investigating the wreck, said Maj. Douglas Stewart of Vicksburg, who was at the scene. Also responding were Warren County deputy sheriffs and Vicksburg Fire Department personnel.

The site was about two miles east of the Vicksburg city limits. The wreck that had caused traffic to slow was over the horizon, Pace said. At that scene, a Dallas man, Mike Gibson, traveling with his wife, Kay, and their dog, all escaped injury when a gust of wind overturned both their camper-trailer and the vehicle pulling it.

Fisher Funeral Home has charge of arrangements for the Hubert sisters.