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Fiery Car Crash Kills Four N.C. Teens

March 6, 2006

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ Four high school seniors returning from a basketball game died in a fiery crash after their car sped off a highway bridge and plunged 58 feet to the ground below, police said.

Officials estimated the car was going 105 mph to 115 mph before the accident Saturday night.

``The senior class will be devastated,″ said Wakefield High School Principal Stephen G. Takacs. He said grief counselors were called to the school Monday to help students cope with the loss.

It was the second fatal car crash in two years involving students from Wakefield High School, which only opened in 2000. In December 2004, a freshman cheerleader was killed when a car carrying a group of teens spun out of control and hit a tree.

The four seniors killed Saturday night were returning from the school basketball team’s victory in a regional championship game in Greenville.

They were on the outskirts of Raleigh and headed onto a bridge over Interstate 440 when the driver apparently lost control and the car hit a concrete barrier, skidded 410 feet and flew over the edge, exploding after it hit the ground below, police said.

Police did not immediately release the teens’ identities.

One of the victims was Baker Sterling Wood, 18, according to his pastor, Ron Rowe of Bayleaf Baptist Church. Wood’s obituary in Monday editions of The News & Observer of Raleigh described him as ``one of those young men who was quiet, but when he spoke, others listened.″

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