Berwick homecoming turns tragic --Former king, queen injured in wreck
BERWICK, La. — She was the homecoming queen, and he was the king. The high school sweethearts were returning from college to take part in this year’s homecoming pep rally when they were hit by a drunk driver.
Now Miles Liner is on life support, Taylor Adams is recovering from her injuries and a small community that has already suffered too much tragedy is left to once again pick up the pieces.
A little more than 500 students attend this tiny high school ranked 11th in the state for its students’ grades. It’s nestled in St. Mary Parish, where Red Ribbon Week activities also are ongoing.
Yancey Hebert, 46, of Pierre Part, was charged with driving left of center and two counts of first degree vehicular negligent injuring, Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said.
Hebert was traveling east in a 2002 Chevy Silverado on La. 70 near Shell Beach Road in Belle River when he attempted to pass another vehicle traveling east, the sheriff said. Before he finished the maneuver, he hit the 2006 Nissan Sentra Liner was driving westbound head-on, Waguespack said.
“Due to driver error and intoxication, Mr. Hebert’s truck drifted completely across the center line into the westbound lane and struck Mr. Liner’s vehicle head-on. Both vehicles then veered off the roadway to the north where they came to rest,” an Assumption Parish press release stated.
The accident occurred at 1:46 p.m. Thursday.
There is the chance that charges against Hebert will be upgraded, Waguespack said. State Police Troop C investigated the accident, but no report was available from them this morning.
Hebert was being held Friday morning in the Assumption Parish Detention Center. No bail had been set.
Seat belts were worn by all occupants. Liner sustained critical injuries and was taken to Thibodaux Regional Medical Center by Acadian Ambulance’s AirMed. Adams sustained moderate injuries and was transported to Teche Regional Medical Center in Morgan City by Acadian Ambulance. Hebert sustained minor injuries and was taken to Teche Regional by a trooper, according to the release.
The press release stated Hebert displayed obvious signs of intoxication. He submitted to blood and urine tests, and results are pending through the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.
Liner is on life support at the Thibodaux hospital, Waguespack said.
“We have unfortunately been through this before,” Berwick High School Principal Buffy Fegenbush said.
A student drowning two years ago, a cancer death of a student in 2009 and another car accident that claimed the lives of five members in 2005 have touched the school and community.
Fegenbush said the initial impact is when you need people most. “We were blessed to be together last night.”
The school held its annual pep rally, parade and bon fire Thursday night. However, activities were “toned down out of respect for the people we love,” she said.
Liner, who turned 21 Monday, played football and baseball in high school. Adams, 20, was the cheerleading captain. Both were in the drama club and honor students as well as being “very friendly and good people,” Fegenbush said of the 2010 graduates.
Liner attends Louisiana State University, while Adams attends Our Lady of the Lake, both in Baton Rouge.
“We are blessed in our Berwick community because we are always surrounded by those who are willing to support our kids through the good and the bad, so that makes us very fortunate.”