Local News

Johnston School Must Cope With Teens' Deaths

Posted January 22, 2007 11:50 p.m. EST
Updated January 23, 2007 6:16 a.m. EST

— A community is mourning the loss of two North Johnston High School students after a deadly accident. Meanwhile, investigators are trying to figure out what happened.

Two high school juniors were killed in a crash on Johnston Parkway Road just south of Kenly Sunday night. A third was recovering in the hospital Monday night.

The shadows hide their friends' tears, but nothing can conceal their pain.

"It don't even seem real like it's happening," says Cheyenne Crocker, a fellow student and friend.

Reece Richardson, 17, was driving in one direction, 16-year-old Nick Creech and 16-year-old Travis Foster in the other. Richardson's and Creech's vehicles collided head on.

"He said Travis made it out, but Reece and Nick didn't. I said, 'Are they going to?' and he said 'no,'" Crocker said, choking back tears.

Richardson and Creech died. Foster was listed in fair condition at WakeMed Monday night.

The pickup truck Richardson was driving caught fire. The other pickup is hardly recognizable.

Friends say the boys were all planning to meet at Reece's house to get ready for a duck hunting trip. The wreck happened a mile from the house.

A makeshift memorial has been set up to remember the two who died.

Classmates remembered Richardson as a great athlete and good friend.

"It didn't matter what type of day you were having, you just talk to him and come away laughing and smiling," said Kaylan Watson, a good friend of Richardson.

The school principal described Creech as a gentle giant.

"Big kid on the offensive line, but would go out of his way to help anyone," said Ross Renfrow.

The teenagers' Myspace pages are filled with condolences from friends and family. Grief counselors will be at their school first thing Tuesday to help students deal with the loss of two of their own.

The crash is under investigation by the Highway Patrol, and investigators will be at the scene Tuesday morning. They plan to reconstruct the accident to determine exactly what caused the crash.

According to troopers, all three teenagers were wearing seat belts.