Restaurant holds fundraiser for teen killed in crash, officials study road

by: Greg Suskin Updated:

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ROCK HILL, S.C. —

The death of a 16-year-old boy has made an impact in Rock Hill.  
 
Every morning, the owner of the Zaxby's restaurant on Heckle Boulevard walks a wreath out to the curb, in memory of a cook -- Frankie Adams.
 
His death almost two weeks ago stunned everyone there, owner Danita Bruce said.
 
"I read somewhere that Frankie was a typical kid. Frankie was no typical kid. He was very kind-hearted, very sweet," she said.
 
Adams, a Northwestern High School student, was killed May 15 leaving work when his car sailed off Heckle Boulevard and overturned, hitting a light pole and several trees.
 
Police investigators said he was going too fast. By the next day, a huge memorial was placed on the roadside, and dozens of friends have paid respects there.
 
Devon Jones knew Adams since the sixth grade.  He said it's been hard since his death.
 
"You'd see him at school all the time and now you catch yourself looking for him," he said.
 
At a traffic commission meeting last week, members discussed Heckle Boulevard.  In a brainstorming session, one idea was the unlikely scenario of annexing part of Heckle Boulevard into the city.  
 
Such a step could be used to boost enforcement efforts. 
 
However, the number of property owners on the road makes that a huge challenge. Another idea was looking at the speed limit because it varies on the sections in the city and in the county.
 
The commission also studied crash statistics brought to its attention by Rock Hill police.  City Councilman Jim Reno heads the commission.
 
"I think the thought was, if there's any way we can come together to try to improve things we want to look at every possible avenue," Reno said.
 
For now, no decisions have been made about any possible changes.
 
For the friends of Adams, the Zaxby's fundraiser is about remembering him and helping his family.
 
"This whole experience has brought everybody together and Frankie was that kind of person to bring everybody together," Jones said.
 
The restaurant is giving 15 percent of its proceeds Wednesday to help the family buy a grave marker for Adams.

Reno hopes the tragedy will lead to better communication between agencies and more law enforcement presence on the road.

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