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Two Students Die In Wreck

Ole Miss students John and Sarah Wheat were killed on Saturday in a car wreck in Oxford, which is currently pending investigation.
Courtesy Hillary Puckett

A car wreck Saturday morning took the lives of two Ole Miss students, siblings John and Sarah Wheat.

The two-vehicle accident took place on Highway 6 at the 18th Street overpass, according to Oxford Police Capt. James Owens.

“Right now, the investigation is still pending,” Owens said. “From what we’ve learned, one vehicle came across the median and struck the other vehicle.”

Sarah, 24, was pronounced dead at the scene, and John, 30, died after being taken to a hospital in Memphis, according to a story in the Clarion Ledger.

Owens said the individual in the other vehicle was transported to the local hospital where he is being treated for minor injuries.

Dean of Students Sparky Reardon said it’s terrible when the university loses students to such tragedies.

“We fully realize that there are a lot of people touched by this, and we’ll offer all of our services to the friends and family members,” he said.

Sarah was studying communication sciences and disorders, and John was studying accounting. They were from Crofton, Md.

Accountancy senior Alec Jones, who was good friends with the Wheats, said this “is simply an unnecessary tragedy.”

“John and Sarah are two of the most memorable people I’ve known my entire time at Ole Miss,” Jones said. “Everyone who knows them can say the same, and Oxford will be a different place without them.”

Political science senior Sarah Laney, who played lacrosse with Sarah, said the Ole Miss women’s club lacrosse team is in shock and cannot believe what has happened.

“This is a huge loss for our team,” Laney said.

President of the lacrosse team and English sophomore Rachel Zurheide said the team is trying to come to terms with Sarah’s death.

“She is Ole Miss Lacrosse,” Zurheide said. “Her loss will be felt in the field."

Zurheide said the lacrosse team will play in Wheat’s honor at their tournament this weekend in Atlanta. She also plans to meet with Reardon to discuss planning a memorial.

Jones said John was a hard worker and a loyal friend.

“John was an inspiration to everyone around him,”he said. “He could make me laugh in any situation and would always go out of his waytolistentomeandbea good friend.”

Jones also said there are no explanations for tragedies like this and all we can do “is try to gain meaning from it.”

The loss of John and Sarah Wheat is close to the one- year anniversary of when Ole Miss students Mason Wilbanks, Samuel Kelly and Walker Kelly were killed in a car accident.

Reardon said this proximity is “a stark reminder of how fragile we are.”

“No matter when it happens, it’s sad,” he said.