A day after a 16-year-old Dutchtown High School student was killed and two others injured in a wreck in Henry County, police said they are continuing to investigate whether other vehicles were involved in the incident.
Witnesses told police they saw other vehicles, as many as eight, driving recklessly in the same direction as the gray 2000 Nissan Maxima just before it crashed around 3:30 p.m. on Pates Creek Road, according to Henry County police. That was less than 2 miles from the school, officials said.
“They were possibly racing or they could have just been traveling in the same direction and driving recklessly,” police spokesman Sgt. Joey Smith said.
Around 8 p.m. Thursday, a candlelight vigil was held at the Dutchtown High School football stadium to remember Jasmine Poole who was killed, and the two others who were injured.
Investigators said the driver, a 16-year-old male, was allegedly speeding recklessly when the vehicle left the roadway, struck a ditch and flipped before coming to rest near a parked car in a driveway. None of the occupants were restrained and all three were ejected, Smith said.
Front seat passenger, Jasmine Poole, of McDonough, died at the scene, Smith said. The 16-year-old driver and the 15-year-old back seat passenger were flown to Grady Memorial Hospital, he said. Their conditions were unknown late Thursday.
Investigators said there was no evidence that drugs or alcohol factored into the crash.
“Preliminary investigation indicates that speed (and) reckless driving contributed to the accident and the lack of safety restraints on any of the occupants,” Smith said in a news release.
At the vigil, Poole’s parents, Jackie and John Poole, were presented a tribute from cheerleaders, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Their daughter had been cheering since she was 5 years old and was on the school’s squad.
Students gathered in the morning at the high school to offer their thoughts and prayers for their classmates, Senior D. Q. Green and the 15-year-old whose name has not been released.
“To see him in the hospital like that is kind of hard,” Dutchtown High senior Winston Odom told the paper. “He’s on life support, but he’s getting well.”
Witnesses told police that has many as eight vehicles, including the Nissan, were driving recklessly and possibly racing just prior to the crash, Bolton said.
Senior Phillip Scandret told The AJC that the incident, happening just weeks away from graduation, is sobering.
“It brings all of us closer together,” Scandrett said. “Nobody’s going to be arguing over petty things.
“It’s not over yet. They’re still in the hospital. As long as they get out, I’m pretty sure everybody can brighten their moves and we’ll just pray for the family of Jasmine.”