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Teen dies when van hits trees in north Raleigh

Posted April 10, 2011

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— A 16-year-old Raleigh boy died when he lost control of his minivan and it struck four trees Sunday morning.

Saleh Jamal Abdullah died in the single-vehicle wreck on Hickory Grove Church Road, near Liana Lane, around 7:15 a.m., police said.

Abdullah's 2001 Chrysler minivan crossed the center line while going 61 mph on a curve, according to the wreck report. He over-corrected, and the truck began to yaw. It ran off the right side of the road and struck four trees at 45 mph.

Abdullah was trapped in the truck and had to be extricated, the report states.

He was transported to Duke Hospital in Durham, where he was pronounced dead.

Abdullah was not wearing a seat belt, and the minivan's airbag did not deploy, according to the wreck report. Alcohol and drugs were not a factor in the wreck.

The speed limit is 45 mph on Hickory Grove Road.

Abdullah was a tenth grade student at Leesville High School. Grief counselors will be available for students Monday, a school district spokesman said.

13 Comments

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  • amandajeanda Apr 11, 2011

    RIP. My daughter had nothing but good things to say about this student. Our prayers to the family.

  • childofNC Apr 11, 2011

    I agree that not all are ready. My youngest wasn't ready, however he did take DE and got his permit shortly before turning 17. He had said that he might as well wait and get his license at 18 and skip the permit but I told him there was no way he was getting his license without having at least a year of practice first. I had my permit for only two months before getting my license and while I didn't hurt anyone, it was a mistake.

  • Malaki Apr 11, 2011

    Sorry, NeedToTellTheTruth, but not every child is ready to drive at 16. Yes, all three of mine did, but that's not the case with my step-children and there are reasons their mom and dad decided they should wait to drive. You are correct that parents need to teach their children to drive, but as with anything else in life you don't just throw them the keys because the law says you can. If your child isn't ready, he/she isn't ready.

  • NeedToTellTheTruth Apr 11, 2011

    So, when exactly are they supposed to learn to drive if you don't let them at 16? That's the worst possible thing you could do because I guarantee you that he/she will catch a ride with someone else and then you're at the mercy of the other driver. You can say that you won't allow him/her to ride with anyone else but you're foolish if you think it won't happen...I guarantee it will! Let them learn when they're supposed to...just like you did. If you actually take the time to let them drive with you in the car and teach them, it's alot better than letting a friend tell them how to do things. You're doing a huge dis-service to your child by not letting them take DE and get their permit when they should. Accidents and one offs happen all the time and there's nothing you can do about it. Religious or not, a verse applies here- Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Do your job as a parent, train them properly.

  • Smokin Apr 11, 2011

    A better term is not "over corrected" rather the driver did not recover from the applied correction. You can correct as strongly as you like, but you have to bring it back out. I know, a technicality, but an important one. The "driver's ed" in schools does not adequately prepare young drivers for emergency situations. Until you've been in a skid, you don't know how to react to one and the only way for young people to practice these skills is to enroll them in a private driving school.

    I feel sorry for this young man's family. You walk a very fine line between nurturing budding independence and keeping them safe at home.

  • TeresaBee Apr 11, 2011

    I also did not let my boys get their permits or drive when they were 16. So far so good, they are both still alive.

  • WritNEWlaws Apr 11, 2011

    My son attends Leesville and is a junior at 16. He is still not allowed to drive because of his age and he is not experienced. My prayers go to the family and to the grieving students at Leesville High School.

  • Mike128 Apr 11, 2011

    Yaw means it began to rotate (ie, spin out or skid). The driver most likely let off the gas and/or started using the brakes, which makes the situation worse, but it's the natural reaction of an inexperienced driver when they get into a corner too fast.

  • Bill of Rights Apr 11, 2011

    mewubbau: "yawing" means rotating on its vertical axis. More simply put: he came around the curve and the vehicle started to swerve. He overcompensated for the swerve and completely lost control.

  • mstan Apr 11, 2011

    Slow down children and put on your seat belts! Kids never think it will happen to them. So sorry for this family.

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