The teenage daughters and the sister of an Illinois pastor were killed in a head-on automobile accident Friday afternoon.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports sisters Savanna Broughton, 17, and Brooke-Lynn Broughton, 15, of Carlyle along with their aunt Rhonda K. Evans, 43 of Ackerman, Mississippi lost their lives when their vehicle crossed the centerline of the highway and collided with a semi tractor-trailer in Clinton County.
The sisters are the daughters of Scott and Amanda Broughton. He is the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Carlyle. Evans is the pastor's sister.
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The accident occurred on Old Highway 50 near Harper Street in Beckemeyer. In a statement, Clinton County Sheriff Dan Travous said the 15-year-old, who had her learner's permit, was driving her sister and aunt in a 2005 Audi. Based on eyewitness reports and physical evidence at the scene, investigators concluded the Audi crossed into the westbound lane of the highway, striking the Volvo semi-tractor trailer head-on.
Travous said it was still unknown why the Audi crossed into the westbound lane. The driver of the tractor-trailer, whose name was not released, suffered minor injuries.
The funeral service for the two Broughton sisters was held Monday afternoon at the First Baptist Church in Carlyle, according to The News-Democrat.
The church posted a link to the sisters' obituary on its Facebook page Sunday.
The obituary highlighted how active both girls were in their high school, and community. They also served on the church's Praise and Worship Team.
"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. 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 said.
The obituary also noted how Brooke-Lynn was a creative soul who deeply loved her family, especially her siblings.
"Brooke-Lynn was 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. 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," the obituary explained.
Along with their parents, the Broughton sisters are survived by their siblings, Mary Kathryn Broughton and Emerson Keeton Broughton; and their maternal grandparents – Lisa Wilson, and Johnny Keeton, and wife Teresia.
Expressions of sympathy in memory of Savanna are suggested to the Carlyle High School Class of 2023. Memorials in memory of Brooke-Lynn are suggested to the Carlyle High School Band.
Donations will be received through Zieren Funeral Home, 1111 Clinton Street, Carlyle, IL 62231.
The funeral for Evans, the sisters' aunt, will take place at 3:00 pm Friday at the Choctaw County Community Center in Ackerman, MS, with visitation from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the same location. The Coleman Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Among the comments offering prayers to the girls' family on the First Baptist Church's Facebook page, one user wrote, "Ephesians 1:18 says 'I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.'"