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Four women killed in Beltway crash

A car and a tractor-trailer collided on the Capital Beltway late Thursday, killing four persons including two teenagers who had graduated from high school hours earlier, police and school officials said.

About 11 p.m., a Volkswagen convertible carrying five females was traveling toward an exit ramp for Interstate 95 when the driver apparently tried to shift back onto the Beltway, authorities said. The car was then struck from behind by the tractor-trailer.

Four of the five persons in the car were killed, police said. The surviving occupant was hospitalized with serious injuries; the driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured.

Virginia State Police identified the dead as Elaine M. Thackston, 20, who was the driver; Lydia M. Petkoff, 18; Sarah Renee Carter, 19; and Renee Nicole Shelkin, 18.

Fairfax County Public Schools spokeswoman Mary Shaw said Miss Petkoff and Miss Shelkin graduated Thursday from West Potomac High School.

Police said alcohol was found inside the car, but did not reveal whether it was a factor in the crash.


50 Cent will not testify in assault case

Rap artist 50 Cent will not have to testify at NBA star Allen Iverson’s assault trial this month, a federal judge ruled yesterday.

The lawsuit stems from a fight between members of Mr. Iverson’s security detail and two patrons at a downtown D.C. bar in 2005.

50 Cent, whose legal name is Curtis Jackson III, was not involved in the fight, but lawyers for the customers said the artist knew some of Mr. Iverson’s security detail and could testify at trial about their behavior.

Mr. Jackson argued that because he was not involved in the fight and is not named in the lawsuit, he could not be forced to travel from his home in Connecticut to testify at trial, which begins June 27. A federal judge agreed, saying she did not have jurisdiction because he lives more than 100 miles from the court.

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