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A vehicle crash in Bryant early Wednesday cost a Benton teenager her life, and four more teens remain in area hospitals with injuries, authorities said.
Sgt. Todd Crowson of the Bryant Police Department said at 1 a.m. Wednesday five teenagers inside a passenger vehicle were driving on Northlake Road. Near the Springhill intersection, the vehicle topped the hill, lost control, veered off into a wooded area and crashed into a tree.
Two of the teenagers were airlifted to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, and three were taken to Saline Memorial Hospital Emergency Room. Crowson said one of the teenagers was later transported from Saline Memorial Hospital to Arkansas Children's Hospital.
Drew Nicole Melton, 17, of Benton reportedly was later pronounced dead at Arkansas Children's Hospital.
As of press time, Crowson said the accident report was not available, and the names of the other teenagers are not being released. The extent of injuries of the other four teenagers were not known as of press time, but Crowson told The Saline Courier that the four teens are expected to recover.
Crowson said an Arkansas State Police Accident Reconstruction officer is continuing to investigate the crash to determine details such as the speed the vehicle was traveling when the crash occurred.
Melton, daughter of Fred "Ted" Melton and Susan Melton Jacobs, was a senior at Benton High School and worked at Arkansas Bone and Joint in Bryant. Drew Melton played several sports, including golf, softball, volley ball and basketball. She planned to participate on the swim team. She had plans to attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Visitation for Drew Melton will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Selph Hall inside First Baptist Church, located at 211 South Market St. in Benton. A church service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday inside Ashby Funeral Home, located at 108 West Narroway St. in Benton.
A complete obituary for Drew Melton is inside the Courier.