Local News

South Johnston High student dies after collision

Posted April 28, 2010
Updated April 29, 2010

— A South Johnston High School sophomore died Wednesday afternoon following a collision with a classmate while they were on their way to school, school officials said.

Friends remember teen killed by crash Friends remember teen killed by crash

Jesse Ferrell, 16, died at WakeMed from injuries suffered in the 7:40 a.m. wreck near the intersection of Hanna Creek and Allens Crossroad roads.

The other student, Jordan Stikeleather, 16, was treated at WakeMed and released, officials said.

Trooper R.W. Murphy of the state Highway Patrol said both teens were northbound on Hanna Creek Road when Stikeleather passed a car. Ferrell then tried to pass both vehicles and lost control of his Chevrolet pickup.

Ferrell's pickup ran off the left side of the road, and he over-corrected, Murphy said. The pickup then sideswiped Stikeleather's Ford pickup, and both vehicles went off the road into a ditch.

Neither teen was wearing a seat belt, and Ferrell was thrown from his truck, Murphy said. Stikeleather's truck then ran over Ferrell.

“It happened so quick,” South Johnston High senior Michelle Barefoot said.

Barefoot said she witnessed the crash in her car’s rear-view mirror.

“I could have reached out and touched Jordan’s truck,” she said. “All I could see was his truck tires just flipping and dust flew up.”

Each student was alone in his pickup at the time of the wreck, and no one else was injured.

Kendall Parker, an agriculture teacher and adviser to the school's Future Farmers of America club, called Ferrell polite, well-mannered and outgoing.

"He had a great sense of humor with a positive outlook on life. He has been a leader among his peers and in FFA. Jesse enjoyed painting and welding agriculture equipment," Parker said in a statement.

In addition to FFA, Ferrell was a member of the junior varsity football team and a cheerleader.

“He was just a down to earth kind of guy that everybody really liked,” South Johnston High sophomore Grace Ann Carroll said.

Grief counselors will be available at South Johnston High, starting Thursday morning, to assist students and staff, school officials said.

Friends also plan to gather at Ferrell’s school parking spot to pay tribute to their friend.

“I’ve grown up with him since kindergarten,” South Johnston High sophomore Tyler Barefoot said. “I love that boy. He was one of my good friends. You just can't replace a good friend. He was one of a kind.”


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  • cfizzle021 Apr 30, 2010

    Most of you parents are hypocrits and your children are propably doing the same things but on your interstates and big roads in wake county. Drivers ED isn't the problem, why would a kid drive bad in front of their instructor knowing that if they did they would not pass?? The problem is us teens feel invincible and don't think about the consequences of our actions until it's too late. It's just a part of life, most of us "joco" students at SJHS have been raised on or around a farm and driving a tractor or something since we were little so most of us have experience. Like I said teenagers are going to be teenagers, it's our choice of how we want to drive and we will have to suffer the consequences. Ofcourse everyone will drive good or slow the next few weeks because of Jesse's death but I gurantee everybody will be back to their same routine of acting up in just a few weeks. There are many bad roads in joco and most of them do not have warning signs for the horrible curves. RIP JESSE! Y

  • superman Apr 29, 2010

    Dont blame driver's ed. They have a very limited amount of time to spend with each student. If a parent can afford to give their child a vehicle surely they have some time they can spend with them to make sure they are careful responsible drivers. The buck starts at HOME.

  • Jax is proud to be an American Apr 29, 2010

    cheyennadame I am sorry for the loss of your friend. There is nothing that can be said that will replace the loss and sorrow all of you are feeling. Keep him in your memories and your heart always.

  • cheyennadame Apr 29, 2010

    school wont be the same with out him we all loved him dearly and i never ever once thoght jesse james would be one to go seein his fmily at the momorial this mornin was the hardest thing i have ever dun in my short life (RIP JJF ) i will miss him we all will

  • YA RECKON Apr 29, 2010

    RE : Why does this keeping happening to our children?

    They are not prepared, they do not have the skills necessary to operate a motor vehicle. Nobody's fault but the parents, if you let your kid drive unprepared and something happens and they don't know how to handle it, it's your fault, as a parent you have an obligation to your child to train him/her to leave the nest, go about their business and then return to the nest without getting tagged by the big bad wolf, too many parents coddle their children, they don't teach them to grow up, then when they let them out to play, they get dead

  • ccacrabbitdog Apr 29, 2010

    to prozacdispenser................as an leo i can tell u most parents r the reason kids bon't wear seatbelts it is a learned behavior..........there is more than enough onfo out there about seatbelts,speeding etc........cops do their job...go sit in court and watch case after case get redused or dismissed...its parents and the courts problem......do u have any idea how many times i've heard a teen say my dad will fix this after i've given them a ticket.......this stuff will never end....

  • mpheels Apr 29, 2010

    If the DMV road test is anything like it was 10 years ago when I started driving then it would be a great place to make improvements. All I had to do was make a few right turns, a single left turn without any traffic around, a "quick stop" and a three point turn. I really just had to use my turn signals and check my mirrors. Fortunately, I'd spent a full year driving everywhere with my mom, probably spent 2-3 hours driving each week for a year, with occasional much longer drives. She implemented her own graduated license on top the state law - three months before I was allowed to drive to school on my own and I couldn't drive anywhere new on my own until she rode with me at least once.

    I'm all for making it harder to get a driver's license, but any program that makes it significantly more expensive needs to be balanced with improved public transit and walking/cycling access so people can get to work without driving.

  • bbad238 Apr 29, 2010

    So sad, my prayers go out to the family and friends. I have no idea what the Johnston County drivers ed program is like, but I hope they find a way to spend even more time with them in the car before they pass them on to get a license. This is happening so often, something has to be done.

  • jrjm3050 Apr 29, 2010

    As a parent who lost a child 40 months to a car accident I am deeply saden this morning for the family and friends. I know first hand what they are going through. My son was 16 also. People talking about seatbelts. My son had his seatbelt on and it did not save his life. My son was going 55 ran off the road and over corrected it. Why does this keeping happening to our children? I am praying for this family as it breaks my heart for them. Everyone here please let your children know that you love them and how special they are.

  • shortcake53 Apr 29, 2010

    How can we get the message across that playing around in a vehicle and not wearing seat belts WILL cause you serious injury? What will it take until kids get it?? I am so saddened to know we lost another precious child ( yes they are still children) to recklessness. My heart goes out to his family and all the kids who knew and loved him. Prayers for the full recovery of the other boy in the accident. Kids, PLEASE PLEASE realize that there are rules for a reason!