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Families, Friends Mourn 2 Teens Killed in Crash

Posted October 1, 2007

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— Two families and many friends are mourning after two teenagers who perished in a single-car accident in Johnston County on Sunday night.

The accident happened on a rural stretch of Old Fairground Road where it intersects with Stevenson Road shortly after 11:30 p.m.

Shortly after rounding a curve, the car driven by Anita Danielle Vann, 18, of Willow Springs, ran off the right side of the road and hit a ditch. The car flipped several times, ejecting Vann and her passenger, Justin Blake Strickland, 18, also of Willow Springs.

Both died at the scene, state troopers said. Neither was wearing a seat belt, and troopers estimated the car was going 70 mph. The speed limit there is 55 mph, with a suggested 35 mph limit going around the curve.

Strickland and Vann grew up on the same street and were lifelong friends, Vann's cousin, Tiffani Bowling said,

She remembered Vann as "a great person, best friend, everything." Vann went to Garner Senior High but left before graduating, Bowling said.

"We were actually supposed to start back at Wake Tech for our GED next week," Bowling said.

Strickland attended West Johnston High until September of 2006. They were all very close, almost like family, Bowling said.

"He was also a great friend. He was someone you could talk to," she said.

Strickland's family declined to comment.

Orange spray paint marked the accident scene as troopers continued to sort out exactly what happened.

Investigators said they don't know if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash. They were awaiting a report from the Chief Medical Examiner's office in Chapel Hill.


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  • Richie in Willow springs Oct 3, 2007

    Thank you for hearing out my comments . I just suggested an idea that i see noone liked , so i guess it's just better to post comments ( negative against me ) rather than trying to come up with a way to help prevent this from happening . Noone liked my idea yet noonecame up with any idea's other than saying what people should do .

  • polar3 Oct 3, 2007

    My idea to prevent this was to pay attention to speed limits and obey the law. It has been said probably 15 times in this chat that even IF their vehicle had a governor to the speed limit, it would not have saved these kids. They took a 35 mph curve at 70, and this messianic chip youre talking about would have kept them at 55. The problem was not their vehicle, it was the driver.

  • Richie in Willow springs Oct 3, 2007

    blessalah..please explain my "ignorance" since you felt so compelled to be rude enough to tell me in this chat rather than in my profile . you don't even have a profile so i could politely comment you there .

  • Richie in Willow springs Oct 3, 2007

    blessalah ... you just had to bad mouth me with that comment ?
    thank you , maybe i am , but then again maybe i should do what you suggested we do to help to prevent this from happening.....oh yea , you suggested nothing .
    you just wanted to badmouth me to make you look better .
    you got your wish , this is my last post .

  • blessalah Oct 3, 2007

    tdiponte, you are blinded by your ignorance

  • Richie in Willow springs Oct 2, 2007

    i was not blaming anyone .

  • Richie in Willow springs Oct 2, 2007

    "It's a shame that some people want to blame the manufacturers and the government for these inexperienced driver's making a poorly timed overcorrection"......per polar3

    i see you do not have any idea's to help prevent this type of accident from happening, just bad mouth me

  • polar3 Oct 2, 2007

    tdiponte let it go. Your Escape is governed to around 100 mph because above that your car would be far to difficult to control. Most factory sports cars are limited to 155 mph for the same reason. An SUV with independent suspension and non solid axles (like your escape) is extremely unsafe at speed. Now stop bringing up your 100 mph limit.

    These two kids should have been wearing their seat belt. No one knows what would have happened if they had wrecked with their seat belts on, but we sure as heck know what happened when they didn't. It's a shame that some people want to blame the manufacturers and the government for these inexperienced driver's making a poorly timed overcorrection.

    Moral of the story is pay attention to posted signs, and wear your seat belt if you want to live.

  • Richie in Willow springs Oct 2, 2007

    None likes my idea about governing a car speed limit to the speed limit of the road . Some say it takes away thier free will , others say it cost to much .
    Why do you need to have a free will to do over the speed limit ? Why is my ford escape governed at 100 mph ( per dealer ) I should have a free will to go that fast ???
    If it's not the car manufactures responsibility , then why do they govern it at all ? Who thought 100 mph would be a good speed ?
    And the cost should not be a factor , look how cheap cell phones are now with built in GPS , someone should be able to come up with an inexpencive tracking system .
    besides , how much is a teenager worth ????
    Everyone bad mouths my idea and says nothing will work , atleast it is something , instead of posting all your negative thoughts about my idea to maybe save a life , why don't you post your idea ?

  • YipesStripes Oct 2, 2007

    Teenagers can be reckless, in general, and it's from a lack of experience and a lot of them really don't think anything would happen to them. They're young and out to have a good time - they don't really think about the consequences. A cell phone ban wouldn't be a bad idea for any driver, not just teenagers. I was behind a lady, this morning, in a gold Accord who kept braking and we discovered she was on the phone. No one in front of her. That's so dangerous!

    Off topic...
    BOINGC = Excellent comment about keeping right if you aren't passing! I am so tired of people on Hwy 401 traveling from Fuquay to Raleigh in the mornings just sitting in the left lane. Left lanes are for passing, folks! It's in the DMV manuals!