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2 Spelman Students Die in Separate Car Accidents Less Than a Week Apart

Princess Yates and Erica Lanier (WXIA Screenshot)

Two young, ambitious women of Spelman College died in two separate accidents last week, one of which has seen another former Spelman student charged in the death.

Rising senior Erica Lanier, of Stone Mountain, Ga., died after a car accident Wednesday.


The driver, Alexis Sims, was charged first-degree vehicular homicide, and DUI, according to 11 Alive, WXIA. Police report that Sims was speeding, lost control and crashed into a utility pole and fence. Sims remains hospitalized.

Sims graduated from Spelman two years ago and WSB-TV reports that Lanier’s cousin said that she and Lanier were best friends and the family is not mad at the driver. They’re praying for a speedy recovery.


Lanier majored in education studies at Spelman and was a founder of Gifted Girls of Grace, a teen mentoring program. The dancer was part of the Morehouse “Mahogany-n-Motion” dance team and performed at half-time shows.

Across the world, 19-year-old Princess Yates died in a car wreck on July 21 in Monrovia, Liberia. 11 Alive reports she had withdrawn from Spelman where she had been pursuing a double-major in engineering and environmental science, and was in the country to celebrate her grandmother’s 90th birthday.

Her death was also doubly heartbreaking in that according to several eyewitnesses, the Staten Island, N.Y., native was refused treatment at the hospital because “she had no money on her.”



There are two currently two fundraisers going to help bring Yates’ body home to the U.S.

Read more at WXIA and WSB-TV.

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