Student hurt in wreck dies, driver to be charged

Gavin Westover

December 10, 2009 2:17:08 AM PST
One of two East Wake High School students involved in a crash Monday has died, now the driver is expected to be charged.

WakeMed said that 16-year-old Gavin Westover died of his injuries Tuesday.

Westover was in a 1996 Chevy Camaro driven by 17-year-old Austin Marx when it crashed on Puryear Road near the intersection of Marks Creek, just north of U.S. 64 near Knightdale.

Sources tell ABC11 Eyewitness News that Marx, a junior at East Wake High School, will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in Westover's death. He will likely be charged in the next 24 hours.

Witnesses said the car was travelling well above the speed limit when it veered off the road and rolled over several times.

School officials said the teens had left the East Wake campus for lunch when the accident happened. Both teens were wearing seat belts.

WakeMed said Marx was treated at the hospital and released.

Students at East Wake High School found out about Westover's death Tuesday afternoon.

Those who knew Westover say they remember his sense of humor and caring nature.

"He'll make anybody laugh at their worst time," friend Connor Porter said.

He was always there for people who needed him," friend Jacob Edwards said. "He just, he didn't deserve it."

Some of Westover's closest friends visited the crash site to put up a cross they made with two skateboards Tuesday night.

"Doesn't feel like it's really happening, it just feels like it's all a dream," Porter said.

"We were supposed to get out of high school and create a company and now I don't even know what I'm going to do," friend Alex King said.

His friends say they hope others will learn from the tragedy, so it never happens again.

"Because some kid decides to get in his car and drive fast, I lose my best friend," King said. "I don't think anybody needs to drive fast ever, it's not worth it."

Westover was a member of the school's wrestling team last year. He is the second East Wake High School student to die in a car crash this year.

The school principal says grief counselors will be available for students to help them deal with their loss.

The investigation into the cause of the wreck continues. No charges have been filed.

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