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Students At Area High Schools React To Fatal Accident Involving Classmates

Posted June 1, 2001

— Students from both

Animation of Crash Based on Raleigh Police Report Close Friends Of Victims React To Fatal Accident Accident & Investigation Details

Teachers say Leesville senior Bryan Reaves was a good student, well-liked by his peers. He was supposed to graduate Friday and attend East Carolina University in the fall. He was killed along with three friends in a car accident on Interstate 540 Wednesday night.

Leesville officials say they will leave an empty chair for Reaves and have a moment of silence during their graduation ceremony.

"Well, I guess it is going to be knowing that he's not there. You don't want to think about it, but you want to remember him also," says classmate Jeanine Cerny.

"He was one of the nicest guys who would ever meet. He is one of those sweet guys who you could always go to talk about your problems," says classmate Ahmed Allen.

Two other students who died were juniors at Leesville. They were 17-year-old Matthew Yurcak and 17-year-old Jamie Brewer, who had withdrawn in April to become a homeschool student. Lindsay North, Brewer's best friend, said she had not spoken to her in days.

"We had a big fight and that's what hurts the most, that I did not get a chance to say goodbye to her," she says.

On Thursday, students at Sanderson High gathered to remember 17-year-old David Smith, who died in the accident. Tara Mylenski, Smith's accounting teacher, loved his wit and determination.

"He was very, very, very motivated. He was so professional. The emails he wrote to people were so extremely professional," she says. "Just when you think he would not come through for you, he would always come through."

Smith was supposed to take his SATs this weekend.

Grief counselors were available at both schools to help students deal with the incident.


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