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17-year-old killed in Iredell County crash

South Iredell High student Briana Martinez, 17, was killed in a wreck on Amity Hill Road in Iredell County on Tuesday.
South Iredell High student Briana Martinez, 17, was killed in a wreck on Amity Hill Road in Iredell County on Tuesday. WBTV

A South Iredell High School student was killed in a two-car crash in Iredell County Tuesday morning, officials say.

The accident happened on Amity Hill Road around 8:30 a.m.

According to investigators, 17-year-old Briana Martinez was killed in the crash, and another person was injured and taken to the hospital for treatment.

“It really opens your eyes and shows you that you should be grateful,” said friend and classmate Jacob Oliphant.

Troopers said Martinez was driving a Toyota Camry when she ran off the road, then crossed the center line. The Camry ran off the road into the grass, where it was struck by a Honda Accord that had also swerved off the road to avoid the Camry.

“A good person, a caring person, she loved her sister and her brother dearly,” Tina Honbarger, the mother of Briana’s close friend Ashley Cruze, said of Martinez.

Cruze brought flowers to the accident site. “She was close to Ashley, Ashley knew her in school, and it just meant more to Ashley, she had to come out,” Honbarger said.

Wesley Gantt of Taylorsville was driving the Honda. He was taken to Carolinas Medical Center.

Amity Hill Road was closed for nearly three hours.

Grief counselors were available at South Iredell High on Tuesday.

Jacob Oliphant described Briana as the kind of girl who would light up any room.

“This world will not be the same for anybody without her,” Oliphant said.

WBTV is a media partner of The Charlotte Observer.

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