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Driver charged in teen's death

Posted September 11, 2009
Updated September 12, 2009

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— Police charged a driver Friday with felony death by motor vehicle in the death of a 17-year-old who was thrown from the bed of a pickup truck last month.

Benjamin H. Evans, 17, of Raleigh, previously was charged with driving while impaired and careless and reckless driving in the Aug. 28 incident.

Stephen J. Mattress was found lying in the middle of Onyx Lane in the Emerald Point subdivision, police said. He was taken to WakeMed, where he died Sept. 2. Mattress would have celebrated his 18th birthday this weekend.

Stephen Mattress, killed when thrown from pickup Friends remember killed teen

Friends say Mattress was Evans' best friend.

Two other juveniles, whose names haven't been released, were also in the pickup at the time of the incident, police said.

Meg Minori, a senior at Knightdale, knew Mattress. She said his sudden death of has gotten a lot of students' attention.

“He touched a lot of people’s lives. His funeral had more kids than I would have expected. It was really hard on everybody,” Minori said.

Knightdale Police Chief Shaun Brown hopes the message to be safe clicks with all teens.

“The best thing is to stay away from the alcohol. Stay away from the narcotics. Drive safely and slowly,” Brown said.

8 Comments

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  • james27613 Sep 14, 2009

    are kids allowed in the bed of a truck in Wake County ?

  • Da Toy Maker Sep 11, 2009

    What a horrible tragedy. How many lives are altered forever. Totally agree that parents really need to get involve with their children.

    Pray for all those families for their lose.

  • Mom2two Sep 11, 2009

    17yo is not a juvenile for purposes of being charged with a crime. 16yo and older are charged as adults.

    Parents need to supervise their children more, and prohibit teens from riding with other teen drivers. While horribly tragic, I can certainly see a lot of culpability on the part of the deceased as well.

  • Professor Sep 11, 2009

    17 year old is not a juvenile

    17 years old IS a juvenile. Thats under 18. :)

  • Professor Sep 11, 2009

    Teenagers will never learn, will they? The driver should absolutely be charged. Also, parents should be more involved in what their children are doing.

  • ecu_rules Sep 11, 2009

    17 year old is not a juvenile and his name should have been released that night.

  • Adelinthe Sep 11, 2009

    What a shame!

    Praying for the loved ones of them both.

    God bless.

    RB

  • Journey985 Sep 11, 2009

    Nice, now 2 lives will be ruined due to this tragedy.