Two drown in wreck on flooded Johnston County road

Posted March 29, 2010
Updated March 30, 2010

— Two West Johnston High School students drowned when their vehicle ran off a flooded road and overturned in a creek, a school spokeswoman says.

The vehicle hit standing water on Steel Bridge Road, near Lee Road, around 7 a.m. and swerved off the road, colliding with a ditch, said Sgt. Jorge Brewer with the state Highway Patrol. It landed upside down in a creek that was swollen with heavy rains.

The driver, Christopher Paul Kosmos, 18, of Angier, was found dead in the swamp about 150 feet from the vehicle.

Authorities said the body of Alissa Chenette, 16, of Clayton, was found still belted into the SUV's passenger seat.

Drowning wreck_02 Teens killed in Johnston County wreck

Kosmos, a senior, played the tuba and bass clarinet in the school band and Chenette, a junior, was a member of the school's colorguard.

"Both loved their school and had a zest for life. Their cheerful smiles and greetings always brightened my day," principal Brookie Honeycutt said.

Since the students' names were not released until after school dismissed,  Johnston County Schools spokeswoman Terri Sessoms said students will be notified about their deaths through a phone messaging system Monday evening.

Grief counselors will be available at West Johnston High on Tuesday.

Violent storms dumped heavy rain overnight and into Monday morning. A flood warning is in effect for Johnston, Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson counties.

Law enforcement said that streams are overflowing and flooding roads in Johnston and Nash counties, and the flooding will likely spread into Wilson and Edgecombe counties. The warnings also cover the Neuse River in Johnston County and the Tar River in Nash and Edgecombe counties.

Flooding was also reported on Enfield at Glenview Road and Church Street, Ringwood Road, Dennis Street extension, and N.C. Highway 561 and Wards Crossroads.

WRAL viewers reported a creek has caused flooding along Red Oak Road in Nash County. (Get safety tips for driving in flood waters.)

Two to 3 inches of rain has already fallen in those areas, and another 1 to 1.5 inches could fall. By 5 a.m., about 1.4 inches of rain had fallen at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

The storm system has moved into eastern North Carolina, but a chance of rain will linger through the evening rush hour.

Showers and storms will become "a little more isolated in nature this afternoon," WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss said. "We'll have some hit-and-miss showers and storms possible on into the evening. Overnight tonight, we may have some stray sprinkles and showers."


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  • keeter Mar 30, 2010

    why hasnt the school system commented yet on why they had teenagers driving around in hazardous conditions??

  • Whatever Geez Mar 30, 2010

    Its not kids who make a mistake...anyone can. I've been driving for 14 years and I made the stupid mistake of making a last minute decision of turning in wet conditions a block from my own house and I slid into a stop sign...I had to replace that rim and tire plus around 1700 dollars worth of front end I feel stupid? yes but it was a mistake; it doesn't take much and nowadays, we have so much to think and worry about.

  • leo-nc Mar 29, 2010

    For those of you who judge, yes, kids do make mistakes. They do it all the time. I see it every day and it's tragic. Some of you act very hard hearted on here about the deaths. Let me tell you. Come with me for a couple of weeks and look at the death and destruction almost on a daily basis and see if it doesn't affect you. You don't understand how hard it is to tell a parent that their child is dead and to be on the receiving end of that? I can't imagine. So for those of you who want to sit here and lecture, you haven't a clue.

  • SomeRandomGuy Mar 29, 2010

    Did this story really go from a weather-type report to reporting that 2 people died???

  • lorivalentine1 Mar 29, 2010

    Very tragic and sad... People never learn.. this has been all over the news and in the papers to be careful for this exact reason. Hopefully others will learn from this and be more careful about going out in this weather.
    I pray their families can get over this horrible tragedy.

  • jackieflash42 Mar 29, 2010

    It's stories like this that break my heart into a thousand pieces. I can't even remember what I was going to type now.

  • kylesguitar89 Mar 29, 2010

    It's horrible. I am personally friends with them. Alissa was a few months into her pregnancy. She was going to find out the gender soon. I gave her a hug just yesterday. And Chris was just talking to me about his senior project recently. They will always be in my hearts and I hope their families will be ok.

  • twc Mar 29, 2010

    "while this is tragic exactly what are 2 children doing in a truck, in water here, i mean what is wrong here? " Two West Johnston High School students drowned " this tells the story.
    Here is a Thought"

    People like you who seem to know everything make me wonder why you weren't at the scene before the accident directing traffic.

    Of all the stupid things that could be said, I think you win first place.

  • rescuefan Mar 29, 2010

    "What does compassion have to do with real common sense and the reality of real truth and honesty? - I'll help you, NOTHING. The issue that 2 children died, I say again children. The tragedy is compounded by their age and inexperience. What parent would have allowed for such.

    As a parent myself, my children know the rules for such weather that they do not get behind the wheel due to their age and inexperience,m it is that simple. Nothing harsh here just plain simple truth.

    Save the lectures for a willing audience.
    Here is a Thought"

    Gosh, I hope your children are as obedient as you think they are. And that you are as perfect of a parent as you think you are. I would hate for karma to bring tragedy and devastation to you in lieu of your judgmental attitude.

  • shortcake53 Mar 29, 2010

    Im so sorry for these kids and their families. So young to be taken away. Never take your family for granted, you just never know............