Tifton Gazette

Local News

June 27, 2007

Ocilla teen dies in wreck

TIFTON — A 16-year-old Ocilla girl was killed at approximately 12:30 p.m. Monday just inside Irwin County when she drove off the shoulder of the road and her vehicle overturned.

The funeral for Leslie Blaire Whitley, who was a student at Irwin County High School, will be held at 11 a.m. today at Ocilla Church of God.

According to Sgt. Don Whitaker of Douglas’ GSP Post 36, Whitley was driving her 2004 Chevy Trail Blazer on Georgia 129 between Fitzgerald and Ocilla and had just gotten into Irwin County when the right tires of the vehicle dropped off the west shoulder of the roadway. Whitaker said that Whitley then lost control of the car and tried to pull it back onto the highway.

“That caused the vehicle to turn counterclockwise and it slid sideways in the ditch,” Whitaker said.

The vehicle then overturned. Whitley, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time, was ejected.

Whitley is survived by her father, Dennis H. Whitley of Ocilla; her mother and stepfather, Donna W. and Jeff Heller of Tifton; a sister, Lindsey D. Whitley of Ocilla; and a stepbrother and stepsister, Matthew Heller and Ansley Heller, both of Tifton.

According to her obituary, Whitley had lived in Tift and Irwin counties all of her life. She was a former member of Irwin County High School’s drill team, TSA and FFA, where she showed livestock in the state and local livestock shows. She was also a member of the high school’s soccer team and the Irwin County Recreation Department’s soccer team. She was an active dancer with Rhythm Nation Dance Studio in Fitzgerald and loved to fish. She grew up attending Brushy Creek Primitive Baptist Church.



To contact senior reporter Angie Thompson, call 392-4321.

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