Local News

Clayton teen dies in wreck

Posted December 11, 2011
Updated December 12, 2011

— A 17-year-old Clayton High School senior died in a two-vehicle wreck on her way home from Bible study Saturday morning, authorities and family said.

Police said that Kristy Sharleen Tamayo, 19, of Clayton, over-corrected after her southbound Honda Civic went off the right side of the 800 block of Amelia Church Road around 11:30 a.m. The Honda crossed the center line and struck an oncoming GMC SUV.

Rescuers had to cut through the wreckage of the Honda to get out Kristy Tamayo and her passenger, Tania Ritacco.

Ritacco died of her injuries after being flown to WakeMed in Raleigh, while Tamayo was in fair condition Sunday. The GMC driver, Larissa Reardon, 37, of Clayton, and her 14- and 8-year-old children were treated and released.

Paul Tamayo said his sister and Ritacco were best friends.

"They were coming from preaching a Bible study. They were on their way home," he said.

Clayton wreck Fatal Clayton wreck impacts best friends

Ritacco was devoted to studying the Bible and was known at school for speaking out about her faith, her family said.

Kristy Tomayo's Facebook page shows a status update at 11:29 a.m., seven minutes before the crash. Police said they are still investigating.

Her brother said Kristy Tamayo is not the type to use her phone will driving.

"I'm her big brother, and I'm always telling her to drive safely," he said. "(My mom) is always on the phone, and every time that my sister gets in the car with my mother, she is like, 'Turn that thing off.'"

Paul Tamayo said they haven't told his sister, who broke two legs and an arm, about her best friend's death.

"I don't know how my sister is going to react, because my sister does love her a lot," he said.


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  • not my real name Dec 13, 2011

    Just heartbreaking!

  • mcraineycrazies Dec 12, 2011

    why dont all of you come down to these johnston county roads, i moved here from morrisville, and i can tell you there have been plenty of times, going around a bend, and there is not much room for any kind of error, the roads are narrow, and ditches on each side, i love that i moved down here, dont get me wrong, but the roads are very diffrent from the ones in wake county, lots of bad curves and lots of narrow roads with no shoulders.

  • Nancy Dec 12, 2011

    Even the best of drivers can fall off the unfinished edges of the country roads so prominent in this state, no shoulders, ruts that grab at the wheel and over correction is common as a result.

    Take a look at the road where this accident took place - it's a big contributor to accidents like this, even with those paying attention, there is no room for error.

  • passport423 Dec 12, 2011

    Kevin, My condolences in the loss of your cousin.

  • snowl Dec 12, 2011

    My 16 year old niece died this way... from being thrown out of the car she was driving when she over-corrected, she may not have been wearing her seat belt also. She was driving her sister back from the store to get candy....This type of accident happens way too often. Teenagers need to keep both hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, and wear the seatbelt, no phones, etc. etc. This is a broken record...sorry for their loss.

  • kevinacho95 Dec 12, 2011

    This is toward " barbstillkickin". Look Kristy is my cousin, i love her to death and i know she is a great driver. Just because she got in an ACCIDENT doesnt mean that she is a bad driver, stop drawing conclusion about people you dont please. My family and i would really appreciate it.

  • itsnotmeiswear Dec 12, 2011

    "I bet the passengers parents wish this girl knew. barbstillkickin"

    Considering the way the parents were raisng their child, I'm thinking they would be more horrified that anyone could be so insensitive and judgmental about the driver when they don't have a clue about the true circumstances.

    It was an accident. It happens. Praying for all invovled.

  • passport423 Dec 12, 2011

    My sincere condolences.

    To those saying, teach the children about overcorrecting, I slipped off the road onto a shoulder the other day and am very experienced at not overcorrecting. However, the condition of the shoulder was so bad that I almost could not get back onto the pavement. When I did, I still had problem controlling the car. I think the road conditions in some places are to blame. Not always the driver's fault or at least there may be extenuating circumstances.

  • NCSUer Dec 12, 2011

    Some parts of this road have very little room for error. I've known others who wrecked by over correcting because there are no shoulders on parts of this road.

  • oliviadams922 Dec 12, 2011

    And I'm guessing that you (barbstillkickin) are the epitome of a perfect driver. Can't anyone act absolutely correct in that situation unless you have yourself have been in it before. I would appreciate it and I'm sure the girls family also, if you would not be so judgmental on something you don't understand.