ATLANTA – During summer break, when most college students are working jobs, traveling, or participating in internships, Spelman College is remembering two young women who were killed in tragic accidents over the past week.
Princess Yates was killed in a car wreck on July 21 in Monrovia, Liberia. She had withdrawn from Spelman where she had been pursuing a double-major in engineering and environmental science.
Her family and friends are outraged at how she died. Her god mother, in a letter to the editor of "Front Page Africa" in Monrovia, wrote, "according to several eyewitnesses, she was refused treatment because she had no money on her."
Sadly, we also lost Spelman sister, Princess Yates. Keep both families in your thoughts. pic.twitter.com/LoFIJXjm0Q— Spelmanites (@Spelmanites) July 27, 2017
"It has hit home, my precious god daughter, who only went home to celebrate her grandmother's 90th birthday for the first time, died senselessly because staffs at [the hospital] refused to treat her."
The hospital did not respond.
An unrelated crash near downtown Atlanta also claimed the life of another Spelman student.
Erica Lanier died after a car accident on Marietta St., NW, around 1:20 a.m. Wednesday. Police said the driver, Alexis Sims, lost control and crashed into a utility pole and fence.
Sims remains hospitalized according to a statement sent to Spelman College alumnae. Sims is now being charged with first-degree homicide by vehicle, improper lane change, and driving under the influence. She made a first appearance on Aug. 1.
Rest In Peace to our Spelman sister, and Founder of Gifted Girls of Grace, Erica Lanier. pic.twitter.com/Wv7CsL4YJ5— Spelmanites (@Spelmanites) July 27, 2017
The two were close friends. A photo on Sims' Facebook page shows a happier time - 2 years ago during Sims' graduation from Spelman. It shows the two of them side by side.
Lanier majored in education studies at Spelman and loved dance. She was part of the Morehouse “Mahogany-n-Motion” dance team and performed at half-time shows
A spokesperson for Mahogany in Motion released the following statement:
"Erica was a beautiful, passionate, resilient, outspoken, educator, mentor, sister and friend. She has mentees all over the country who are all mourning the loss of their big sister."
Sadly, the summer is ending with the senseless deaths of two of Spelman's brightest and an alumna in custody - accused in one of the deaths.