Franklinton High junior dies in wreck
Posted November 20, 2011
Franklinton, N.C. — A Franklinton High School junior and football player died early Sunday in a single-vehicle wreck about two miles from his home.
Rashad McKnight, 17, stayed out late with friends and called around midnight Saturday to say he was coming home, his stepfather Tim Coley said.
"He never came, so about 1 o'clock, I put on my clothes on, and I went to look for him. I found him up the street," Coley said.
He discovered McKnight's 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse shattered at the foot of a tree along Gordon Moore Road. McKnight had been thrown from the car.
"I was the first one there," Coley said. "I checked his pulse. He was under the car. He was dead."
Coley called 911 but couldn't think straight, he said. A passing motorist stopped to help him.
State troopers said that McKnight, who wasn't wearing a seat belt, was speeding, lost control on a curve and ran off the left side of the road, striking a tree and spinning around it. Troopers said alcohol was not involved.
McKnight played football as a lineman for the Franklinton High Red Rams. He wore jersey No. 63. This year, his team made it to the state playoffs with a 10-3 record, one of the best for the school in years.
McKnight was just starting to look at college and planning his career, Coley said.
"He was into fast cars and building motors. He said he wanted to go to school to be a mechanic," he said.
Coley said the loss of McKnight is a hard blow for his family.
"He was a good kid," Coley said. "I wasn't his biological father, but I loved him like he was my own."