Sunbeam wreck claims two teens

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 3, 2008

SUNBEAM—Two young men from the area were killed Thursday night, when their vehicle ran off the road and into a tree with such force that it split the car in half.

Kyle Jones, 18, of Boykins, and William Edward Drake Jr., 19, of Franklin, died at the scene of the 10:30 p.m. accident, according to Virginia State Police Trooper S.W. Johnson.

Johnson said Jones was driving his mother’s four-door 2002 Volkswagen Jetta on Sunbeam Road when he apparently lost control of the car after rounding a curve. He then ran off the left side of the road and struck a tree, impacting on the passenger side, between the front and rear doors.

“The car was horrifically damaged,” Johnson said.

Speed was likely a factor in the accident, the trooper said, though investigators are still trying to determine just how fast the vehicle was traveling at the time of the wreck. There was no evidence that alcohol was involved, he said.

Neither man appeared to have been wearing a seat belt, as both were ejected from the vehicle.

A neighbor heard the impact and hurried to see what had happened, then called 911 to report the accident.