Slim Smith/Dispatch Staff
STARKVILLE — Mississippi State University lost one of its happiest students, her classmates said.
Katherine Elizabeth “Katie Beth” Carruth, 21, died Friday evening in a single-car accident just south of Okolona, as she was returning to her home in Tupelo after completing classes at MSU earlier in the day.
According to the Monroe County Coroner’s office, Carruth was traveling north on US 45 Alternate when she lost control of her 1996 Ford Explorer, which overturned. Carruth was ejected from the vehicle during the crash, and died at the scene. Alone in the vehicle, Carruth was not wearing her seatbelt.
Coroner Alan Gurley said skid marks indicated Carruth did not strike any object, but she simply lost control of the vehicle.
The news of Carruth’s death quickly spread among her circle of friends, both at MSU, where she was a junior majoring in Human Science, and in her native Tupelo.
“She was probably the happiest person I ever met,” said Ryan Rhea, a classmate of Carruth’s at both Tupelo High School and MSU.
“Oh my gosh, she was just so upbeat all the time,” said MSU student Claire Johnson. “And she was extremely goofy, always up for anything.”
Michelle Cleveland, who graduated with Carruth from Tupelo High School in 2009, was her roommate at MSU last year and remained one of her closest friends.
“Joyful, that was Katie Beth,” Cleveland said. “She loved to laugh and make other people laugh, too. She loved to sing; she was always going around singing. She taught herself to play the guitar. When she found out that somebody played the guitar, she was after them immediately to get them to show her what they knew.”
Carruth’s visitation, held Sunday evening in Tupelo, had to be extended by almost two hours, because of the number of friends who wanted to extend their sympathies to the family.
Read complete article at the Columbus Dispatch.