High school student killed when log crashes through windshield

LENOIR, N.C. — A high school student died Tuesday morning when a log crashed through the windshield of a pickup truck in Caldwell County.

The crash happened along North Carolina Highway 18 near Hibriten High School in Lenoir.

Channel 9 was told that the victim was a 10th-grader at the school.

School district officials said the victim’s father was driving him to school when the crash happened.

Witnesses told Channel 9 that the pickup struck the back of a logging truck as it was turning onto N.C. 90 from N.C. 18, which broke off one of the logs.

Wesley Oliver, 15, was in the passenger seat when the log crashed into the pickup and killed him.

Witnesses at nearby businesses said it was one of the worst crashes they had ever seen.

"It's just very, very sad for the family right here at Christmas," a witness said.

Officials said a full team of crisis counselors, along with clergy members from across Lenoir, are at the school to support students.

"We have provided a safe environment for them to grieve together in the media center,” Libby Brown, with Caldwell County Schools, said. “We are here for our students. Just a heartbreaking devastating day for Hibriten High School."

Channel 9 has been told that no one has been charged in connection with the crash.

Memorial services will be held this weekend at Greer-McElveen Funeral Home in Lenoir.

Family and friends will be received Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m.

His funeral will be Sunday at 2 p.m.

Announcement Principal David Colwell made to the student body at Hibriten High:

“To the faculty, staff, and students of Hibriten, please allow me your undivided attention.

“Many of you witnessed the aftermath of a serious automobile accident this morning, right in front of our school.

“I regret to inform you that one of our own, Wesley Oliver, a sophomore, was taken from us this morning.  Our crisis management team is meeting right now in order for us to meet the counseling needs that we all are going to need.

“We are in the process of requesting additional counselors from other schools to come to Hibriten. At this time, I ask all of you to take a moment of silence in memory of one of our own.  Hibriten has always had a reputation for being a tight-knit family.  We will get through this together. We are family.”

“In memory of Wesley Oliver, the sophomore class officers determined that Friday, Dec. 1, will be Blue Out Day to honor Wesley by wearing his favorite Carolina Panther blue color. The colors for Wesley will continue into the evening at the 2A semi-final championship football game at Hibriten High, at which time a Moment of Silence will also be observed. The Hibriten High Panthers football team will remember Wesley by donning football helmets with the initials WO.

“The school anticipates organizing a memorial fund for the Wesley Oliver family with more information forthcoming.”

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