Wake Forest, N.C. — 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.”