Parents and teens say Sumter crash came as shock

By Brandi Cummings - bio | email

SUMTER, SC (WIS) - Three Midlands teenagers remain hospitalized after their vehicle flipped multiple times Tuesday night in Sumter County. A fourth teen has been treated and released.

A high school friend stopped by the crash site Wednesday, trying to come to terms with what happened. "It's sad, they're all broke up," says friend Marco Johnson.

Troopers say 17-year-old Lakewood High School student Jonathan Elmore was driving the Toyota Avalon, which flipped. He and classmate Christopher Ardis, 16, Sumter High School student Evan Davenport, 16, and Manning High School graduate Zachary Peavy, 19, were all thrown from the car. According to troopers, none of the boys were wearing seat belts.

"I think it's terrible," says parent Cindy Williams.

Thoughts of the teens loomed as other parents waited to pick up their teens from Lakewood High School, the school where two of the boys attended. Williams has a ninth grader. "They're young, and they could have got killed. It's dangerous," says Williams.

Williams' daughter will be driving next year, and she says news of accidents involving teens is concerning. "You think you're having a good time, and the next thing you know, you're in a hospital," says Williams.

Two of the teens remain at Sumter's Toumey Hospital. Meanwhile, one person was taken to a Columbia hospital and another has been discharged.

Teens say the crash is a wake-up call. "Slow down everywhere I go, because I like to speed -- not anymore," says Johnson.

There are still few details about what led up to the crash. Troopers say it's unknown if speed or weather were contributing factors. No other vehicles were involved in this crash. It remains under investigation.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved.