Report: Students drank before prank, didn't report wreck
Posted May 31, 2009
Updated June 1, 2009
Raleigh, N.C. — Masked students doing a prank involving a boat didn't report a wreck that hospitalized one student, and investigators found evidence that at least some students drank at Leesville High School before the Friday incident, according to a police report.
A Crash Reconstruction Unit report obtained by WRAL News details events surrounding the wreck, in which Ian Anthony Bunn, 17, suffered massive head trauma. He was in critical condition at Rex Hospital on Lake Boone Trail late Sunday.
About 30 Leesville High students and alumni met at O'Neal Road around 12:30 a.m. to do a prank at the nearby school, the report says. They wore masks to conceal their identities, and police later found evidence that some had been drinking beer in a school parking lot beforehand.
The students moved a 12- to 15-foot boat painted with school symbols 75 feet from the parking lot and pushed it up against the cafeteria doors. They put dry concrete in the bottom of the boat to make it harder to remove, and then began to run away.
Three students got in the front seat and Bunn and approximately five others hopped in the bed of a black 2005 Ford F-150 parked on a parking-lot access road facing Leesville Road, according to the report.
Witnesses said Alec William Esoda, 18, put the truck in reverse and accelerated at excessive speed toward O'Neal Road. Esoda tried to perform a J-turn – in which a driver turns a vehicle going reverse 180 degrees and puts it in forward gear so it's going in the same direction. The truck overturned, and all the passengers in the truck bed were ejected.
Bunn's head was pinned underneath the truck's roof, but a student pulled him out, the report says.
Esoda and other passengers – including Taylor Rodman Bucklin, 18, Zachary Mitchel Blalock, 19, Daniel Carl Walser, 18, and Charles Walter Blalock, 18, all of Raleigh – weren't seriously injured. Other masked students in the truck haven't been identified, but no other injuries were reported.
An unidentified student took Bunn to Rex Hospital, and staff called police once they were told Bunn had been in a wreck.
After the wreck, some students fled the scene, and one called Esoda's father, Bill, who came out to the scene, the report says.
Officers arrived at 1:51 a.m. and found the overturned truck surrounded by several people who had backed a green Chevrolet truck up to it. Officers determined that the people were trying to pull the truck back up onto its wheels.
Officers found four beer cans in the parking lot; three more in a storm drain about 20 feet from the overturned truck, and a beer funnel in the bed of the truck.
They arrested Esoda, of 12408 Tappersfield Court. A chemical analysis test showed he had a blood alcohol content level of .08. He has been released on bond for charges of felony serious injury by vehicle, DWI, provisional DWI and reckless driving.
The Leesville High school resource officer has been assigned to continue the investigation and determine what other students were involved in the wreck.