An Illinois pastor and his family are grieving the loss of two of his three daughters and his sister after a tragic crash along Old U.S. Highway 50 on Friday.
Pastor Scott Broughton of First Baptist Church of Carlyle and his wife, Amanda, lost their daughters Savanna Grace Broughton, 17, and Brooke-Lynn Kay Broughton, 15, The Belleville News-Democrat reported. The pastor’s sister, Rhonda Evans, 43, from Ackerman, Mississippi, also died in the crash.
Clinton County Sheriff Dan Travous said in a statement that the trio was traveling in a 2005 Audi passenger vehicle at the time of the accident. The pastor’s 15-year-old daughter, who had a learner’s permit, was the one driving.
Travous said eyewitness reports and physical evidence from the scene suggest that the Audi crossed into the westbound lane on Highway 50 near Harper Street in Beckemeyer and caused a head-on collision with a Volvo tractor-trailer.
The tractor-trailer driver suffered minor injuries.
First Baptist Church of Carlyle did not immediately respond to calls made by The Christian Post on Tuesday. But an obituary published Saturday announced a funeral service that took place on Monday for the sisters.
The obituary also shared how loved and active the sisters were in their church and the wider community.
“Savanna was bold, beautiful, and could easily bring a smile to your face. She was excited about her upcoming senior year at Carlyle High School. At CHS, Savanna was on the homecoming court, served as Student Council president, and reporter for Carlyle High School FFA. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Carlyle, where she was active on the Praise and Worship Team,” the obituary reads. “Savanna loved lifting up others by writing positive messages, leaving notes of encouragement and praise, and writing cards thanking others for kind deeds. She had a passion for mission work and enjoyed serving at homeless and women’s shelters. Savanna had a tight bond with her siblings and loved her family deeply.”
The obituary described Brooke-Lynn as “creative, talented and devoted.”
“She was a student at Carlyle High School, where she played tenor sax in the band and was a member of the color guard. Brooke-Lynn loved hard, was devoted to her family, and she was protective of her siblings. She had an artistic touch and loved art and painting,” the obituary said. “Brooke-Lynn listened to every genre of music, from Sinatra to Eminem. Her love of music led her to sing on the Praise and Worship Team at the First Baptist Church in Carlyle, where she was a devoted member. Brooke-Lynn loved her family and her friends, but she hated bugs.”
Carlyle Dairy Queen Chill & Grill, where Brooke-Lynn previously worked and Savanna frequented as a customer, remembered the sisters in a statement on Facebook Sunday.
“We had the pleasure of employing Brooke-Lynn. During her time with us, there wasn’t a shift she worked that there wasn’t a smile on her face along with everyone who worked with her. She would walk through the door with the best attitude and the cutest hair styles! She was such a joy to be around. Truly a genuine, caring, loving, beautiful soul,” the shop explained.
“Savanna was a regular customer. She left notes for all the employees and we hung them above our drive thru window so everyone can see them every time they work. We are going to get them framed so we can always have them there with us as a reminder of one of the sweetest customers we have ever had. She truly was a beautiful person inside and out,” they added. “Please keep the Broughton Family, friends, peers and our community in your prayers these upcoming days.”
Along with their parents, the sisters leave behind their siblings — Mary Kathryn Broughton and Emerson Keeton Broughton — and other extended family members.