Local News

Police: School prank led to wreck that injured teen

Posted May 29, 2009 5:56 a.m. EDT
Updated May 30, 2009 6:57 a.m. EDT

— Leesville Road High School seniors and graduates packed into a pickup truck were trying to pull off a school prank early Friday when the truck overturned, critically injuring one teen and leading to DWI charges against the driver, Raleigh police said.

The students were parking a boat with a school logo, mascots and "Class of '09" painted on it in the Leesville High School parking lot around 2 a.m., said Wake County public schools spokesman Michael Evans. Students said the vessel was a sailboat.

The police report on the wreck says that Alec William Esoda, 18, of 12408 Tappersefield Court, accelerated quickly to 25 mph while backing out of the parking lot onto O'Neal Road. Esoda attempted to turn around when the 2005 Ford rolled over and came to rest on its roof, according to the wreck report. Students riding in the bed of the truck were ejected.

Police said that Taylor Rodman Bucklin, 18, and Ian Anthony Bunn, 17, both of Raleigh, who were in the truck bed, were taken to Rex Hospital. Bunn was seriously injured and listed in critical condition in intensive care Saturday. Bucklin was not seriously injured.

EMS workers treated Zachary Mitchel Blalock, 19, of Raleigh, at the scene. Esoda and two passengers in the cab – Daniel Carl Walser, 18, and Charles Walter Blalock, 18, both of Raleigh – weren't injured.

Police suspect that there was a delay in reporting the wreck. The first call to 911 came, not from the scene, but from Rex security.

Esoda did not appear impaired at the scene, but a test revealed he had a 0.08 blood alcohol content level, according to the wreck report.

Police charged Esoda with DWI, provisional DWI, reckless driving and felony serious injury by vehicle. Provisional DWI is a charge issued against drivers under age 21 who are suspected of driving after drinking alcohol.

Esoda had his first court appearance Friday morning and was released from jail on bond. His next court appearance was set for Thursday, June 18.

Zachary Blalock graduated from Leesville last year, and all the others are seniors at Leesville, Evans said.

Students described Esoda, Bunn and others involved in the wreck as good kids.

"I know a lot of the people who were involved personally, and they normally would not get involved in that sort of thing," a senior named Robert said, adding that he was glad nothing worse happened.

Leesville High Principal Scott Lyons said that disciplinary action was being considered.

Parent Brashant Shah, who lives near the high school, said he is concerned about students driving erratically and making lots of noise.

"I call police so many times. They stop them, but they keep on going," Shah said.