Clayton teen dies in wreck
Posted December 11, 2011
Updated December 12, 2011
Clayton, N.C. — 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.
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.