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Three teens killed, one injured in crash near Wake Forest

Posted June 5, 2011
Updated June 6, 2011

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— Three teens were killed and a fourth was critically injured in a car crash at the intersection of Old Pearce and Zebulon roads near Wake Forest Sunday night, according to the state Highway Patrol.

Austin Leonard Flowers, 16, of Wake Forest, was driving a Dodge Challenger with three other teens in the car at about 8:40 p.m. when he lost control and crashed into a tree, according to Sgt. Kevin Shallington.

Excessive speed was to blame, troopers said. Everyone in the car was wearing their seat belts, according to authorities, who noted that alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

Flowers died in the crash, along with front-seat passenger Lane Meyer, 16, of Wake Forest, and Matt Speight, 17, of Raleigh, who was sitting in the back seat on the left side.

Speight would have graduated and celebrated his 18th birthday this Friday, according to his father, David Speight.

Brenden Pearce, 16, of Wake Forest, was airlifted to WakeMed in critical condition, troopers said. Pearce and Meyer are first cousins, according to David Speight.

The teens were headed home after an event at Rolesville Baptist Church, authorities said. All four attended Wake Forest-Rolesville High School.

"That was one of the worst (crashes) we’ve had in a long time,” Shallington said. “We just got through with our 'Drive to Live’ campaign where we went out to the high schools. We’re wondering what we can do to get through to teenagers to slow down.”

327 Comments

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  • abhill0913 Jun 13, 7:25 p.m.

    This is such a sad event for all. As of parent of teenagers, I feel that a governor on driver with less than 3 years should be required to be on their vehicle; only allowing them a maximum speed. Such as no more than 70mph is the highest allowance. I know this is still a high rate, but it is an example.

  • rfpfister Jun 8, 11:40 a.m.

    and from school? I pose these questions because we can't be with our teens every minute of the day. We as parents need to help each other by getting involved when we see teens, other than our own, doing something they shouldn't. We can teach our kids how to make good decisions but sometime good kids make bad choices that have consequences. In this case it was the ultimate consequence! The law doesn't need to be changed; our involvement as members of the community does. Yes, this could have been avoided, but don’t put it on these parents and to some of you - stop being Monday morning quarterbacks. My thoughts and prayers are with the families.

  • rfpfister Jun 8, 11:16 a.m.

    I happen to be a life long friend of one of the victim's father. I can tell you that he is his wife are very good parents and did a wonderful job raising their son! We do not know what was said or what was going on inside that car prior to the crash. What we do know is that the car was traveling at a high rate of speed. Teens will be teens. That will never change. Bad things happen to good people. That will also never change. An accident like this is the exception rather than the rule. Parents have a responsibility to make sure their kids know the rules and set consequences when they don't follow them. I doubt any of the parents were there at the church when the four got into the car. Did anyone in a position of authority see four kids pile into the car? Did anyone say "Hey wait a minute, you can't do that?" Do the police officers enforce the rule? Have any of you ever seen more than two kids get into a vehicle and tried to stop them? Do schools enforce this law when students drive to

  • rosered857 Jun 7, 11:47 a.m.

    I don't understand why a 16 year old was driving. My son got his full license when he turned 18 and refused to drive before that. These young drivers with limited licenses need to stay off the roads unless they have a full licensed driver with them. My heart goes out to all the families.

  • sweetpea41 Jun 7, 8:08 a.m.

    My heart and prayers go out to these family's who lost their loved ones.I lost my daughter at 19 due to an auto accident 7yrs ago.I was alway's told parents are supose to go before their kids.But god has his ways must have thought it was time for them to come see him.So sorry again.Tina-nc

  • leo-nc Jun 6, 6:26 p.m.

    Spare me the hot rod bit already people. I've seen more kids die in VW Bugs, Saturns and Ford focuses then I ever have it a car like this Challenger. Yes it happens and will continue until the human race is extinct. All we can do is discourage this kind of driving through education and enforcement. For a lot of kids it sticks in their brain and for some it never will. Just like there will be no world peace, there will never be a shortage of fatal wrecks with teens and other demographic representations as well.

  • fayncmike Jun 6, 6:16 p.m.

    "We’re wondering what we can do to get through to teenagers to slow down.”

    How about mandatory GPS controlled speed governors on their cars? I know my GPS not only tells me how fast I'm going but the speed limit of the road I'm on.

  • ashmomicmac Jun 6, 5:49 p.m.

    It's a shame. I also question a Dodge Challenger (starting at 43,000 so do they make it with a 6 cyl?) in the hands of a teenager. My dad had a '73 red Ttop Corvette that I only drove when he was in the seat beside me!

  • randall0123a Jun 6, 4:45 p.m.

    hgilpiniv - the answer to your question is, NO!

    People making comments are speaking about the MAJORITY of incidents that happen - statistical certainties. There is an undeniable lack of experience and respect for driving associated with youth, as compared in adults. Obviously, some people never mature in this regard, but we are talking of the majority here. You put a spin on this story to sway opinion for a brighter picture, when the reality more often reflects the opposite. We can always "hope" for the best, but should practice on the side of caution. The comments left here are not meant to point the finger (hopefully), but rather to make people think on how to help avoid further tragedy like this.

  • GetItRite Jun 6, 2:52 p.m.

    4 young teens driving 62mph in a 55mph zone on the way home from church Sunday evening when a 6 year old child ran into the road chasing a ball the driver jerked the wheel to avoid hitting the child which caused the car to strike a tree killing 3 of the teens in the car. The car had to be cut open to remove the teenagers. The 6 year old child was unharmed.

    Any opinions changed?????

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