A single-car accident claimed the lives of three Alabama high school cheerleaders on Christmas night. Two others were injured in the crash, which police say occurred after the teen driver apparently went off a road that crosses a levee and slammed into an oak tree in Geneva around 6pm. Cassidy Dunn, Emilee Fain, and Addyson Martin—who were in the front seat—were killed. The fourth student was hospitalized in Birmingham; the fifth was bruised. "There were five young females, 16 and 17 years old, who were all close friends and have been friends for several years," Lt. Michael McDuffie explains to People. "They were just out enjoying Christmas break riding around in a rural part of our town."
McDuffie says it's unclear why the driver, who was not named, lost control. "It could have been a deer ran out in front of them." The AP reports the teens had been together for the holiday at one house and left to go to another location. Geneva, home to about 4,400 people, sits near the Florida border. AL.com has a statement from Geneva City Schools Superintendent Ron Snell, which reads in part, "Moving forward we will rally around the families, but for now, we need time to mourn together. ... We would ask that everyone continue to lift the families up in prayer and to remember our injured student who has undergone extensive surgery. The outpouring of support is an indication of the positive way that each girl lived their lives." (Read more car crash stories.)