Princeton High School student killed in crash

March 9, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
An accident has taken the life of a Johnston County High School student.

For the third time in one year students at Princeton High School are grieving the loss of a senior. Katlyn Bell, 18, died Sunday when she was hit by an oncoming SUV.

A trooper with the N.C. Highway Patrol tells Eyewitness News that Bell stopped at the intersection of Old Sanders and Brogden Roads. When she turned left onto Brogden she apparently didn't see an oncoming Ford Explorer, her boyfriend who was a passenger in the car told authorities. She died instantly at the scene.

"She knew everything," classmate Catherine Massey told Eyewitness News. "She knew where she was going. She had everything planned out. She was wonderful."

Her mother says that Katlyn planned to attend Meredith College in Raleigh in the Fall on a partial scholarship for Interior Design.

Friends say Katlyn decorated their lives with happiness.

"She would notice every time something was different. When I got my haircut, she'd be like, 'Catherine, that looks really pretty.' or a new shirt, she'd always be the one to notice."

Now she's noticeably gone.

The flag at Princeton is lowered. Heads are too. Tears fall.

Words flow out of students hearts and onto a banner for Katlyn Bell-- K-Bell as they called her.

"Why?" One asks. "You were such a great friend," writes another. "Watch out for us up there." "We will all miss you."

Princeton's Principal Kirk Denning says the news was hard to hear. "When you get a call you hope that it's not true but then you get another call. This is the third student in less than a year."

Last April James Cook of the class of '07 died running a stop sign a day before prom. The class of '08 lost Gib Martin in September when he was speeding.

Now Katlyn about a week before her prom too. "It does not get any easier," Principal Denning said.

"It's really hard," Catherine Massey said wiping away tears. "It's really hard to lose a second one in your senior class, knowing that you're going to graduate without them, it's really hard."

Johnston County led the state in teen fatalities last year with 10. The Highway Patrol says the circumstances and locations have all been different. The only message they give all drivers is to be careful.

Troopers ticketed the man who hit Katlyn for driving without a license but they say he was not at fault in her crash.


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