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One teen killed, four hurt in early morning wreck

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published December 24, 2012 at 9:58 a.m.

— One teen was killed and four others were injured in a single-vehicle accident early Monday in Union County.

Arkansas State Police say a Ford Explorer driven by 16-year-old Samantha N. Rhoades was heading east on Southfield Cutoff about a half mile west of U.S. 167 when it veered off the road about 1 a.m.

The sport utility vehicle reportedly then overturned.

A passenger, identified as 18-year-old Gage A. Shoffner of Smackover, was dead at the scene.

Rhoades and three other passengers — identified as 15-year-old Tristan Martinius, 13-year-old Savannah Jones and 17-year-old Robert Fowler — were taken to the Medical Center of South Arkansas in El Dorado with unspecified injuries.

The report did not indicate what may have caused the SUV to leave the road. The weather was clear and the road dry, officials said.

Shoffner was the 533rd person to die in a traffic accident so far this year, according to preliminary figures.

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