Students at this town’s high school assembled to pray before class Thursday in response to a fatal car crash which claimed the lives of one of their classmates the day before.
Edward Tyler Eason, a 16-year-old junior at Knightdale High, died Wednesday morning after a head-on collision between his car and a Raleigh city pickup truck near Forestville and Old Milburnie roads in Wake County, officials with the State Highway Patrol said.
“Our student body was clearly very saddened by the loss, so they arranged a student-led prayer vigil that was very well attended,” said Dr. Jim Argent, the school’s principal.
Argent described Eason as “definitely a good student who was always respectful.” Eason was a dedicated member of the school’s JROTC, he said.
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“He was well-behaved and teachers were always complimentary of him,” Argent said.
The crash happened about 7:15 a.m. in a slight curve on Forestville Road, patrol spokesman Lt. Jeff Gordon said.
Troopers said Eason, who lived on Tarheel Club Road, was driving southeast toward the school at about 10 mph over the posted 45 mph speed limit.
His Suzuki appeared to have drifted across the center line of the road, accident investigators concluded. The city Department of Public Utilities truck, driven by 36-year-old Michael Worner of Wood Green Drive in Wendell, was going the other way, they said.
Worner was hurt and was taken to WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, but Gordon said his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. Eason died at the scene.
The school had grief counselors in place to talk individually with students as needed regarding the incident.
“One of the things you want to do is strike a balance between honoring (the lost) and creating a sense of normalcy for the students,” Argent said.
Students decorated and placed flowers at Eason’s parking spot at the school. The flowers were later taken to his family.
Funeral services for Eason were set for Sunday at the L. Harold Poole Funeral Service Chapel in Knightdale. His burial was planned to follow at Baptist Center Church Cemetery in Clayton.
In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations may be made to L. Harold Poole Funeral Service to assist with expenses.
Staff writer Ron Gallagher contributed to this report.