UNION COUNTY, N.C. - Several communities in Union County are grieving the loss of young people killed in separate car crashes Monday.
Breanna Ringersen, 22, was rear-ended at the intersection of Rocky River Road and U.S. Highway 74 at about 6 a.m. Monday, police said. Investigators told Channel 9 the driver of the other vehicle was going about 60 mph at impact, as Ringersen was stopped at the traffic light.
“(Her parents) are of course crushed. This was their only child,” long-time family friend Stephanie Robinson told Channel 9.
Myles Pace, 20, was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.
Ringersen had recently graduated from UNC-Charlotte with a degree in criminal justice and was pursuing a career in law enforcement.
“She was one of a kind with a really huge heart for helping everyone,” Robinson said.
Hours after that crash, Monroe police responded to another deadly wreck on Secrest Shortcut Road, east of Rocky River Road.
Investigators said a 18-year-old Becker Reep ran off the right side of the road, overcorrected and T-boned a truck. His passenger and friend, 17-year-old Daniel Hester, was killed.
Reep has been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.
“He was a really sweet, innocent guy,” Kamryn Bowles said. Bowles had a class with Hester at Piedmont High School where he was a baseball player.
Police said charges are pending in the crash that killed Hester.
The losses come just one week after the funeral of Weddington High School student, Rachel Lucenius. She died in a crash on Cox Road on Sept. 1.
“It breaks your heart,” said Matt Reilly.
Reilly is the director of operations for the non-profit known as B.R.A.K.E.S. It organizes driving classes for teens. Reilly said most crashes involving teens are avoidable.
“Unfortunately, when weather changes and cellphones come out, and distractions are in the car, these young teens don’t know how to respond to it, and we lose life,” Reilly said.
B.R.A.K.E.S currently has more than 500 families on a waiting list for driving classes. Organizers are trying to secure more funding to add additional classes.
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