February 18, 2009 Edition

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Accident claims WR senior's life

Chelsey Linebaugh

A one-vehicle accident on Sunday resulted in the death of a Walnut Ridge High School senior, according to Anthony P. Dail of the Arkansas State Police.

Chelsey Linebaugh, 18, of Walnut Ridge, was killed when she was partially ejected from the 2006 Honda Civic which she was a passenger.

Linebaugh, who was a member of the volleyball, basketball and softball teams, was also the reigning basketball homecoming queen. She was active in the Student Council, Spanish Club, National Honor Society, FBLA and Key Club and was named to Who's Who Among American High School Students.

WRHS Principal Charles Lee said this has been the most difficult situation he has been in since taking over as principal nearly eight years ago.

"Chelsey will be greatly missed at Walnut Ridge High," Lee said. "I pray that God will sustain the families, classmates, teachers and friends during this difficult time."

According to the accident report, the vehicle was traveling northbound on Highway 91, south of Highway 63, at 1:50 a.m. when it left the roadway, entering the northbound shoulder and striking a bridge with the front of the vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle, Amber Caldwell, 18, of Black Rock, also a WRHS senior, was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

A visitation for Linebaugh was held Tuesday evening at House-Gregg Funeral Home in Walnut Ridge. The funeral will be today at 2 p.m. at Walnut Ridge School's Sharum Gymnasium.

Students on the Walnut Ridge campus will be dismissed early today. Students in ninth through 12th grades will be dismissed at 12:05 p.m., and students in kindergarten though eighth grade will be dismissed at 1:15.

Linebaugh was the daughter of Wayne and Renee Linebaugh. Her mother is secretary at Walnut Ridge's Ben R. Bush Elementary School, and her younger sister, Sydney, is a student at Walnut Ridge Middle School.

She also had two older sisters, Shelly Woodard of Black Rock and Susan Doyle of Walnut Ridge.

"My heart and prayers go out to the Linebaugh family, the Caldwell family and to all the people who Chelsey touched with her beautiful smile and caring friendship," Lee said.

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