Local News

Father of crash victim: 'Cherish the moments'

Posted June 10, 2011 8:27 p.m. EDT
Updated June 10, 2011 11:29 p.m. EDT

— Less than a week after losing his 17-year-old son in a car crash, David Speight reflected on his son's life and plans for the future and asked teen drivers to think before speeding.

"(Matthew) was here one minute and gone the next," said Speight. "(Teens need to) think about other people in the vehicle, think about their safety."

Friday would have been a momentous day for Matthew, who would have turned 18 and graduated from Wake Forest-Rolesville High School.

He died in a wreck at Old Pearce and Zebulon roads Sunday evening, along with Lane Meyer, 16, and Austin Flowers, 16. State troopers say Flowers was going 129 mph and lost control of his Dodge Challenger. It ran off the road and crashed into a tree at 90 mph.

A fourth student, Brenden Pearce, 16, survived the wreck and was in good condition at WakeMed. The four teens were heading home from an event at Rolesville Baptist Church.

"We're all devastated by what happened," David Speight said.

Brian Speight, who says his younger brother "touched so many lives, hearts and souls," walked across the stage Friday and accepted a diploma on Matthew's behalf. Nearby, an empty graduation robe was draped over his brother's chair.

The brothers had lunch together at Triangle Town Center on Saturday, the day before the crash. A day after the crash, Brian Speight was talking with a co-worker and asked him what his favorite book of the Bible is.

"He stopped what he was doing, looked me in the eye and said, 'Matthew,' and that meant the world to me,'" Brian Speight said.

David Speight says his son was a huge Boston Red Sox fan. The father-son duo were planning a trip to Baltimore next month to see the team play against the Orioles.

David Speight bought the tickets and finalized the plans the day before the crash. He said he still plans to go and will take his older son, Brian.

"Cherish the moments. You hear that, and you don't take it to heart sometimes, but please, take it to heart," David Speight said.