Acar accident in Abilene claimed the life of 27-year-old ACU alum Jillian Hope Thomas early Saturday morning.
Thomas was riding in the passenger seat of the 2008 Nissan Altima driven by Spencer LaBrie, 19-year-old 2011 graduate of Wylie High School, who was also killed in the accidentÂ at the intersection of South 14thand South Danville Drive.
According to the preliminary investigation, LaBrie’s vehicle was broad -sided by a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer driven by Tiffany Haynes, 35. LaBrie failed to stop at a red flashing signal and Hayes had right-of-way because the signals on South 14th were flashing yellow.
Haynes received minor injuries and was not taken to the hospital.
Thomas and LaBriewere taken to Hendrick Medical Center in critical condition. They were both pronounced dead around 2:15 a.m. Saturday.
LaBrie was a Texas Tech University Air Force ROTC cadetÂ and was formerly an athlete at Wylie High School, playing basketball and baseball. Thomas was a speech pathologist at Coronado Nursing Center in AbileneÂ and received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in speech pathology from ACU.
Dr. Terry Baggs, assistant professor in the department of communication sciences and disorders, taught Thomas during her time in the graduate program at ACU.
Baggs said Thomas had a quiet personality and could easily be overlooked in a group, but that she was a friendly and welcoming individual.
“Jillian was a smart student and a good, solid therapist,” Baggs said.
When a student who was new to Abilene came to ACU, Thomas was the one to make him or her feel loved and welcomed from day one, Baggs said.
“She had a sweet spirit that positively impacted her colleagues,” Baggs said.
Thomas’ visitation was at Smith Family Funeral Homes in Haskell on Monday. The funeral took place Tuesday at the First Baptist Church in Haskell. Burial followed at Willow Cemetery in Haskell.