Rescue personnel surround a Howell County Sheriff's Department car that was involved in a crash Dec. 6, 2007, south of Houston. Two persons were killed.

The family of a law enforcement academy student who was killed in a December 2007 accident on an icy bridge south of Houston was awarded $1 million last week in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Laura A. Whittingham of Koshkonong was a passenger in a Howell County Sheriff’s Department patrol car that slid out of control and struck a truck Dec. 6, 2007, at South Millstone Road and U.S. 63. Whittingham, 35, and a prisoner in the back seat, Lisa G. Oliver, 36, of Falcon, were killed.

The judgment against Howell County and Deputy Dennis D. Maddux, the driver of the car, was handed down Friday by 25th Circuit Court Judge Mary Sheffield.

Whittingham, who had three children, was a student in the Missouri Sheriff’s Academy. She was riding as a guard with Maddux, who worked for the Howell County Sheriff’s Department and was assigned to the jail and transport of prisoners.

The vehicle was en route to Howell County after picking up prisoners at Fulton and Vandalia._The crash demolished the passenger’s side of the southbound 2001 Ford Crown Victoria patrol car.

Texas County Coroner Tom Whittaker pronounced Oliver dead at the scene. Whittingham died that evening at Texas County Memorial Hospital. Maddux and a prisoner in the back seat were seriously injured.

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