An 18-year-old Auburn University student was killed Wednesday night in a three-vehicle crash on Alabama Highway 14, said Lee County Coroner Bill Harris.
Andrew Jackson Thurmond IV, of Birmingham, was killed instantly in the 3100 block of Alabama Highway 14 when the 1998 Corvette in which he was riding collided head-on with another vehicle then was broadsided by a third car about 10:15 p.m., Harris said.
Thurmond, believed to be a freshman at AU, was wearing a seatbelt. The driver of the Corvette, Scott Leighton, of Kildeer, IL, is also a freshman at Auburn. The coroner said it appears Leighton was driving east on Highway 14 at a high rate of speed when he apparently ran the edge of the roadway, lost control of the car, traveled into the west-bound lane and stuck a vehicle, occupied by just the driver, head-on. Leighton's vehicle then went into a spin and was broadsided on the passenger side by a third vehicle, a Volvo occupied by three people.
The driver of the first vehicle was airlifted by Lifesaver helicopter to The Medical Center in Columbus. Leighton and the three occupants of the Volvo were transported by ambulance to East Alabama Medical Center for treatment. Their conditions are unknown at this time, the coroner said.
Alabama Highway 14 was blocked for several hours while Auburn police investigated the accident.
Alcohol is suspected to be a factor in the collision, Harris said.
Thurmond’s body was sent to the Alabama Dept. of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery for a post mortem examination. The incident remains under investigation by the Lee County Coroner’s Office, the Auburn Police Dept. and the Alabama Dept. of Forensic Sciences.