Dave Russell, 24, professional basketball star, killed when his car ran off a road and into a ditch.

David Furr, 18, college basketball player, killed with his brother Byron, 16, when their car and pickup truck collided.

One of the sadder duties of the media at holidaytide is tallying the traffic toll - but if it makes a reader (or a listener) stop and think and be careful with his driving, it counts for something. Particulars:

Dave Russell was the young man who set all the scoring records at shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W. Va. on the fringe of the capital metropolitan area - 2,761 points in four years, 25.6 a game. The 6-foot-8 NALA All-America from Hagerstown, Md. was the last cut of the NBA Milwaukee Bucks in the fall of 1975 and took his act to Europe. Sucess, big - 32 points a game for San Sebastian of Spain. This year, Russell switched to the Orthez team of France - "he was averaging 25 points the last time he called" said coach Bob Starkey at Shepherd - and had a Hagerstown buddy, Joseph Burger, 22, in Orthez playing for the community's rugby team.

Burger was slightly injured and a French girl in the auto seriously hurt when Dave Russell story ended early yesterday.

David Furr, who starred last year on the Olney (III, High School team, was home from the University of Evansville for Christmas. He was out for basketball at Evansville, only to suffer a severe ankle injury in practice and be relegated to sitting out the season keepin statistics at home games. So he was not on the traveling squad when the Evansville varisty was wiped out in a plane crash two weeks ago.

Death aided by a patch ofice on the road, found him as he and his young brother were returning from watching Olney beat Pana in a nearby high school tournament . . .