By Jesse Wood
In the early hours of Sunday, a single-vehicle crash near Railroad Grade Road in Todd injured the driver and claimed the life of the passenger.
The State Highway Patrol said Erick Barcenas, 18, and Luis Ramos, 19, both of Fleetwood, were traveling on N.C. 194 when the vehicle went off the road as it navigated a left-hand curve and struck a tree, according to The Jefferson Post.
“Both men were restrained but it was a side impact with the tree and something a seat belt isn’t going to offer as much help with,” Trooper Kevin Aldridge told The Jefferson Post, adding that speed wasn’t believed to be a factor in the wreck that is still being investigated.
The wreck occurred between the hours of 3:30 and 7:13 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9 as passersby called in the wreck later that morning. The paper reported that Ramos was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident and Barcenas was in critical condition, having to be flown to Johnson City Medical Center via helicopter.
Both were wearing their seatbelts and both were 2016 graduates of Ashe County High School.