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Report: Students drank before prank, didn't report wreck

Posted May 31, 2009
Updated June 1, 2009

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— 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.

49 Comments

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  • TCON Jun 2, 2009

    buckos why are you even commenting on a story that should not even concern you. I would put money on the fact that you are some old guy who reads and comments on WRAL all day. Seriously sitting on your computer arguing with kids. Why do you think the news has several different reports? Because they did not get their facts strait in the first place. People who go to this school know what happened, and kevintcarney knows what he is talking about. Stop taking cheap shots at these kids who got hurt. Sure it was a dumb decision to drink and drive, but saying that the kids left Ian out to die is completely wrong.

  • kevintcarney Jun 1, 2009

    buckos, just because your a cynic doesn't mean that you have to dry to make us cynics too. Please keep your judgmental comments to yourself because you obviously don't know the facts and you're basing your opinion off of the false information the news has reported because they too don't have the facts and don't want to do the work to find them. Yes it is a close-knit community and yes their actions were reprehensible but they are still our family and you forgive your family when they make mistakes. We really could care less what you have to say so you might as well not say anything at all.

  • iluvoranges150 Jun 1, 2009

    buckos, from the sound of it, you really don't know what you're talking about. i would appreciate it if you could keep your ignorant comments to yourself. everyone's quick to judge, so lets keep the comments positive.

  • kevintcarney Jun 1, 2009

    Wouldn't you want access for emergency personnel from both sides? There would only be two ways to get to the crash, so shouldn't both of those ways be open?

  • buckos18 Jun 1, 2009

    yeah, there might have been another drunk student coming down the road. good idea

  • kevintcarney Jun 1, 2009

    Also, the truck was in the middle of the road so they were trying to move it over to the side so that other cars could pass by.

  • buckos18 Jun 1, 2009

    I guess the driver and his father calling the police was conveniently left out in the police report to the media. As far as I understood, the nurse at Rex called the police well after the wreck occurred. Those darn police are probably fabricating the whole story.

  • kevintcarney Jun 1, 2009

    The heroic student that took Ian to the hospital stayed around for some of the others involved to come as well. The driver and his father called the police as well as calling Ian's father to tell him he was in the hospital.

  • buckos18 Jun 1, 2009

    All rationalizations aside, If the nurse at Rex didn't call 911, who would have? Seems to me they were trying to move the vehicle and clean up the scene prior to police arrival. If they had that much time, would the truck have still been there or would it have been towed away. i know just how tight knit that community is. protect the kids at all cost, even if they were grossly negligent in their behavior.

  • boolittlek Jun 1, 2009

    "until you know all the facts, don't act like you know what your talking about. k? k. thanks."

    gastongrly0821, you say in a later post "as far as i know" and "i am not sure how long they stuck around." The "facts" you're tossing around are clearly as much hearsay as anyone else's statements/opinions on this board.

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