Second student killed in Johnston County crash

A senior at North Johnston High School died in this crash Thursday. (Carter Rabil)
January 20, 2011 5:15:04 PM PST
School officials confirm a car accident Thursday morning claimed the life of a senior at North Johnston High School. It's the second fatal wreck involving a Johnston County student in a week.

Thursday's wreck occurred in the 8200 block of Hinnant-Edgerton Road near Hickory Crossroads Road south of Kenly.

Pictures from the crash scene showed the teen's 1997 Toyota truck on its side against a tree.

Investigators identified the boy as 17-year-old Christopher Hayden Peedin of 3127 Rains Crossroads Road, Selma.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol said Peedin left the road at a high rate of speed, and then hit a ditch and a ditch culvert before his truck went airborne, hit a tree in the air, and overturned in the front yard of a home.

Troopers said speed was a factor and Peedin was not wearing a seatbelt.

A Johnston County Schools spokesperson said grief counselors would be available for students.

"As superintendent, I am deeply saddened whenever a student death occurs," said Johnston County Superintendent Dr. Ed Croom in a statement. "I urge all students to drive safely. Our prayers go out to the families of those who have experienced the loss of loved ones."

Peedin was a member of the North Johnston High wrestling team and a junior firefighter with the Pine Level Fire Department.

"The North Johnston Family is deeply saddened at the loss of Hayden. He was an outstanding young man and an important member of our senior class and school family. He was a devoted wrestler and was involved in many school activities. He loved his school and we loved him. His positive impact on our school will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He will always be a Panther," said Tim Harrell, prinicpal at North Johnston High, in a statement.

Last Friday, 18-year-old Kyle Kozlowski - a Clayton High School senior - was killed when his truck crashed off of Loop Road.

Despite having a reputation for fatal accidents involving teens, Johnston County has seen a decrease after a spike in 2007.

Johnston County fatal teen accidents:

  • 2005 - 5
  • 2006 - 6
  • 2007 - 14
  • 2008 - 7
  • 2009 - 7
  • 2010 - 2
  • 2011 - 2

The North Carolina Highway Patrol has visited schools to teach students about road safety and the dangers of driving without a seatbelt.

With information from Mickey Lamm - WTSB Radio.

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