Police Say Alcohol Not A Factor In Crash That Killed Two Teens

By Shannon Davidson

(LOUISVILLE, July 12th, 2004, 5 p.m.) -- Two teenagers were killed in a crash on the Gene Snyder Freeway after the red Mazda they were traveling in crossed the median and hit an oncoming car early Monday. WAVE 3's Shannon Davidson reports.

Police tell us that alcohol was not a factor in the accident, and may never know what caused the crash that happened early Monday morning about a mile from U.S. Highway 42 near the I-71 exit.

Police say 16-year-old Rebecca Mantooth, who was driving, and her passenger, 17-year-old Diana Lacey, had just turned off Highway 42 and were southbound on the Gene Snyder about 12:05 a.m. July 12th, when, for some unknown reason, Rebecca lost control and crossed the median into oncoming traffic, slamming head-on into a yellow Honda.

Diana died at the scene, and Rebecca was rushed to University Hospital, where she died in surgery. Neither girl was wearing a seatbelt.

The driver of the Honda, who was not immediately identified, was also hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

Now the families of both victims are trying to cope with the sudden loss of two girls who were so full of life.

Voted by her classmates at Oldham County High School as the girl with the best laugh, Diana was a girl who made other people happy simply because they knew her. "I told her mom I thought she was the shiniest person I knew, because she was always glowing, she really was," says Diana's aunt, Patti Marcrum.

Diana was good friends with 16-year-old Rebecca Mantooth, a student at Eastern High School. Rebecca's stepfather told us she was a fun-loving, happy teen, who hoped to someday be a hair stylist.

The two teens were trying to make their way back to Rebecca's house before their midnight curfew when they crashed.

"You never know when it's going to be your last day," Patti says.

Patti says Diana has a twin brother, David. Their 17th birthday is less than two weeks away on July 24th. It will be a bittersweet day for David -- his first bithday without his best friend to share it with.

"They're just bonded," Patti says. "You know, they had their own little language, and they understood each other, and they were each other's best friend, and for the rest of your life what do you do without half of you?"

Rebecca and Diana met while working together at a Target store.

Online Reporter: Shannon Davidson

Online Producer: Michael Dever