Three Croatan High School students in Carteret County are in serious condition after the vehicle they were in hit a pine tree roof first in the Croatan National Forest, North Carolina media outlets report.
The three teens have not been named, but TV station WITN identified the driver as a 16-year-old boy and the two passengers were 14-year-old girls. All three are at Vidant Medical Center, media outlets report.
It happened about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday on a gavel road in the Croatan National Forest, north of the town of Peletier. Speed was a contributing factor, troopers told news outlets. Peletier is about five hours east of Charlotte.
Witnessess told news outlets that they came upon the crash and saw the vehicle smoking and heard people screaming.
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The teens appeared to be joyriding after school when they driver lost control and the vehicle hit a pine tree, said Kevin Hunter, chief of the Western Carteret Fire and EMS Department in Cedar Point, told the Carolina Coastal Review. The Chevrolet Blazer hit the tree roof first, the chief told the Carolina Coastal Review, and then came to rest wrapped around the tree.
One teen was extracted in about 20 minutes, but it took close to an hour to extract the other two, it was reported.
Media outlets were reporting counselors were called in to Croatan High School on Thursday to help students in emotional distress over the crash.