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Former Miss Teen Oklahoma is one of two killed in Grand Lake boat crash

Miss Teen Oklahoma 2010 Rachel Nicole Swetnam, 21, of Grove, and William Lewis Varner III, 21, of Texarkana, Ark., were on a boat that hit a docked house boat Tuesday evening on Grand Lake.
BY SHEILA STOGSDILL Modified: May 15, 2013 at 6:21 pm •  Published: May 15, 2013

“She was easy going,” said Sandy Palmgren, pageant director. “Her parents did a wonderful job of raising her. She was beautiful inside and out.”

While Miss Teen Oklahoma, Swetnam would wear her crown and sash to community events and preschool classrooms.

“The little kids just loved her,” Palmgren said. “She was like a fairy-tale princesses to them.”

Palmgren said she was in shock when she learned of Swetnam's fatal accident.

“She was just wonderful,” Palmgren said. “You couldn't ask for a better or sweeter person to represent Oklahoma.”

Swetnam's co-workers at Riffraff clothing store in Fayetteville, remembered her beautiful smile, infectious cheer and great sense of humor.

She was a graduate of Cascia Hall in Tulsa.

Headmaster Roger Carter said Swetnam transferred to Cascia Hall from a Tennessee school as a junior in 2009 and graduated the following year.

“It just breaks our heart. Terrific student, great family. ... You would just melt when she would speak to you because she had that Tennessee drawl,” Carter said.

Swetnam was the daughter of Grove surgeon Dr. Jeff Swetnam, said Kristi Wallace, Integris marketing representative.

“We're like a family here at Integris and we take this loss very personally,” Wallace said. “No parent should ever lose a child. There can be no greater pain. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Swetnam, his wife, Janet, and their daughter Sarah.”

Wallace said the Swetnam family has requested privacy at this time.

CONTRIBUTING: Tulsa World staff writers Tim Stanley and Amanda Bland has disabled the comments for this article.


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