A 16-year-old has died and two of his peers are nursing critical injuries following a Salisbury single-vehicle crash on the morning of Sunday, December 27.
Police went to the scene of the single-vehicle crash in the 1800 block of Jake Alexander Boulevard at 6:33 a.m.
According to police, 19-year-old Alex Garcia lost control of the 2014 Mercedes SUV he was driving. He left the roadway and struck a tree, sustaining minor injuries in the process.
Police said he was the only occupant of the vehicle who was wearing a seatbelt. He was treated and discharged from Rowan Regional Medical Center.
One 16-year-old passenger and an 18-year-old were said to be in critical condition.
Garcia is facing charges of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and failure to maintain his lane of travel.
Police suspect that the Salisbury single-vehicle crash involved drug use and speed and more charges could be coming. Marijuana and mushrooms were reportedly found in the vehicle.
Lt. Lee Walker of the Salisbury Police Department said Garcia will have to live with the fact that his actions caused the death of one of his friends and left two others in the hospital. He sent prayers and condolences to the families.
Traffic fatalities are an ongoing concern for North Carolina. In the North Carolina 2019 Traffic Crash Facts released in November, Commissioner Torre J. Jessup highlighted some of the figures.
He said reportable crashes increased by 1.2 percent while fatalities rose by 1.9 percent when compared to 2018. Motorcyclist deaths went up by 8.9 percent while bicyclist fatalities dropped by 5.9 percent year-on-year. The number of people on foot killed in motor vehicle crashes increased by 2.7 percent.
The Commissioner said 25.6 percent of all the fatalities were linked to speeding.
If your loved one died in a traffic accident, you may be able to get compensation with help from a North Carolina car accident attorney.