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Teen charged in fatal Wise County crash

staff report • Nov 21, 2012 at 7:00 AM

WISE — Two counts of involuntary manslaughter have been filed against the 17-year old driver involved in a fatal car crash in Wise County this summer.

The Virginia State Police filed the charges against the 17-year-old female as a result of an early morning crash that resulted in the deaths of two other teens, 15-year-old Austin Joseph Bolling and 17-year-old Jerald Kevin Johnson, both of Wise.

The identity of the female at the wheel the night of the accident is not being released because she is a juvenile.

The driver and four other teens had just left the Huddle House restaurant in Wise and were traveling south on U.S. Route 28 when the accident occurred. At around 3:40 a.m., state police said the driver lost control of the 2005 Volkswagen Beetle coupe, failing to negotiate a slight turn to the left on approach to the intersection at Esserville, located less than a mile south of the restaurant at a traffic-light equipped intersection providing access to the Wal-Mart Super Center.

The vehicle veered onto the right hand shoulder of the highway, struck and vaulted over a guardrail and overturned several times down a steep embankment. The state police said speed was a factor in the accident.

None of the occupants were wearing seat belts, the state police said, and all but one — including the two youths killed in the accident — were ejected from the vehicle. Bolling died from his injuries after being airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport and Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Two surviving male teen occupants were treated and released from local hospitals and the driver was treated for her injuries at HVMC.

The charges against the driver will be adjudicated in Wise County’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Authorities have determined the driver was not impaired by alcohol or drugs during the fatal crash.

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