Tuscaloosa County crash claims life of UWA freshman cheerleader

The body of a car crash victim found along Interstate 20/59 Tuesday afternoon has been identified as University of West Alabama freshman cheerleader Bethany Joyce Harris according to a University release.

Bethany Harris, 19, was killed when the 2007 Scion TC she was driving left the roadway and struck an embankment before striking a tree. (Photo by Joe Chance)

Bethany Harris, 19, was killed when the 2007 Scion TC she was driving left the roadway and struck an embankment before striking a tree. (Photo by Joe Chance)

Harris, 19, was killed when the 2007 Scion TC she was driving left the roadway and struck an embankment before striking a tree. According to Senior Trooper Reginal King, it was suspected that the driver had left the scene of the crash upon initial investigation. It was later determined that Harris was fully ejected from the vehicle and into a wooded area where her body was located around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Harris was not using a seatbelt. The crash occurred at 7:45 a.m. on Interstate 59 near the 68 mile marker, four miles south of Tuscaloosa.

The release from UWA Public Relations is included below. The release states that the accident occurred on Monday, Dec. 28; however, Senior Trooper King has verified that the accident did occur Tuesday morning.

“The University of West Alabama has been informed that UWA student Bethany Harris was killed in an automobile accident on the night of Monday, Dec. 28. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy, and we express our sincere condolences to Bethany’s family. She has many friends at UWA and will be greatly missed by the campus community, throughout which she was known and will be remembered for her dedication in the classroom and on the sidelines of Tiger athletics as a cheerleader. She was also very active in greek life on campus. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bethany’s family and close friends during this devastating time.

UWA takes pride in the sense of family that lives throughout the campus community, and Bethany’s untimely death is a tragic reminder of the family bonds that are forged throughout the University.

UWA students, faculty, and staff will be notified of funeral or memorial arrangements when they are available.

UWA Counseling will offer its services to UWA students, faculty, and staff to cope with grief and other psychological issues stemming from this tragedy.”