Local News

Johnston School Must Cope With Teens' Deaths

Posted January 22, 2007
Updated January 23, 2007

— A community is mourning the loss of two North Johnston High School students after a deadly accident. Meanwhile, investigators are trying to figure out what happened.

Two high school juniors were killed in a crash on Johnston Parkway Road just south of Kenly Sunday night. A third was recovering in the hospital Monday night.

The shadows hide their friends' tears, but nothing can conceal their pain.

"It don't even seem real like it's happening," says Cheyenne Crocker, a fellow student and friend.

Reece Richardson, 17, was driving in one direction, 16-year-old Nick Creech and 16-year-old Travis Foster in the other. Richardson's and Creech's vehicles collided head on.

"He said Travis made it out, but Reece and Nick didn't. I said, 'Are they going to?' and he said 'no,'" Crocker said, choking back tears.

Richardson and Creech died. Foster was listed in fair condition at WakeMed Monday night.

The pickup truck Richardson was driving caught fire. The other pickup is hardly recognizable.

Friends say the boys were all planning to meet at Reece's house to get ready for a duck hunting trip. The wreck happened a mile from the house.

A makeshift memorial has been set up to remember the two who died.

Classmates remembered Richardson as a great athlete and good friend.

"It didn't matter what type of day you were having, you just talk to him and come away laughing and smiling," said Kaylan Watson, a good friend of Richardson.

The school principal described Creech as a gentle giant.

"Big kid on the offensive line, but would go out of his way to help anyone," said Ross Renfrow.

The teenagers' Myspace pages are filled with condolences from friends and family. Grief counselors will be at their school first thing Tuesday to help students deal with the loss of two of their own.

The crash is under investigation by the Highway Patrol, and investigators will be at the scene Tuesday morning. They plan to reconstruct the accident to determine exactly what caused the crash.

According to troopers, all three teenagers were wearing seat belts.

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  • Love my boys Jan 23, 2007

    The graduated license program is for teenage drivers from 16 years to the six month mark. After having their license for 6 months, all the child has to do is go to the driver's license agency with a parent and get a full license. Whether both of these boys had a full license or not, it's still a tragedy for both familiies. Have you ever heard the saying you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink? You can educate teens about the do's and don'ts of driving but you can't make them use what they have learned.

  • gh4nj07 Jan 23, 2007

    I am a senior @ NJHS & I personally knew both of these young men ... they were wonderful Nick was rock strong on the outside (being a lineman) & whole hearted... Reece was always making people smile nice to everyone w/ never a harsh word... These to will be greatly missed!

  • tomygurl Jan 23, 2007

    I am a former student of North Johnston High school. I didnt know the boys but I will keep them in my prayers. I graduated last year. I do know that when a traggic accident happens in the past at north johnston they always stick together through thick and thin. Friends are always friends no matter what at north johnston. I hope everyone at north johnston is doing okay. I remember when i had to deal with a girl in my class passing away back in 8th grade who would've graduated with me in 2006. It took some getting over but everyone comes back and learns to deal.
    Tina Thomas

  • Dixe Jan 23, 2007

    My thoughts and prayers are with all these families involved. I just can't imagine. I have a daughter who is a junior in high school. Also, is it my imagination, or are we losing more of our teens on the roads these days. Should they get more drivers's education, or maybe insurance companies do something to help educate these teens? One is too many, but in the past year, we have lost more and more bright futures to accidents on the road. I know we can't shelter them, but maybe more education is the answer.

  • painexpress Jan 23, 2007

    My wife and I buried our son in 2003. He went to sleep coming home from The Citadel and hit a tree on I-95. I can't give the parents any magic words other than Look to God for your comfort.

  • k9sandQtrs Jan 23, 2007

    I thought that the graduated license program was supposed to take care of this sort of thing or am I confused about what they're allowed to do at what age? Either way, it sounds like these were good kids with good intentions....

  • finallysingle Jan 23, 2007

    My condolences to the families.Every parent's nightmare.I have sent this article to two of kids that are off in college in hopes it will give them more awareness (which you never get enough of ).