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Updated: 6:59 p.m. Friday, June 15, 2012 | Posted: 11:37 a.m. Friday, June 15, 2012
WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. —
A teenager was killed while riding in the bed of a pickup truck that crashed late Thursday night in an area north of Boone.
Five teens were in the truck at the time of the accident.
According to police, Dillon Critcher was riding in the bed of the truck when the driver lost control and flipped the truck. Critcher was tossed from the truck bed and then the truck crushed him.
For much of the afternoon, people have stopped at the crash site to pay their respects.
North Carolina Highway Patrol officials said the driver lost control of the truck in a series of curves on a steep part of the mountainside.
Sylvia Coffey said she heard the crash, tires squealing outsider her home, drowning out the sounds of rushing water in a nearby creek, a sound she will never forget.
“I told him just to pray. Pray for the young man that was in the ditch,” she said.
She tried her best to keep one of the five teens who were riding in the pickup truck calm until help arrived.
One of the first volunteers to the scene was junior firefighter, Charles Winebarger.
He knew the teenagers he was now trying to help. They are classmates together at Watauga High, including 16-year-old Critcher who was thrown from the bed of the pickup.
"I just wish there was something else I could have done. I'm still in shock about it. It has not quite hit me yet," Winebarger said.
The Highway Patrol said Critcher died in the accident. The other four teenagers were hospitalized but are now home recovering.
Don Williams goes to church with Critcher’s family. He was like many others who visited the crash scene Friday afternoon trying to make sense of it all.
"I'm in shock. No parent should outlive their children and it just saddens me," Williams said.
Troopers said the officer who investigated the accident Thursday night met with the District Attorney’s office on Friday to discuss possible charges. So far, no charges have been announced.
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