The Transylvania Times -

Two Teens Dead After Single-Vehicle Wreck Sunday In Balsam Grove


June 19, 2017

Two Transylvania County students have died after a one-vehicle accident Sunday evening in Balsam Grove.

Cole Robert Owen, 15, and Austin Lee Rhoden,15, both died after the 1994 Toyota Tacoma truck they were in overturned around 7:30 p.m. on Tanassee Gap Road, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.

According to the Highway Patrol, Owen was in the passenger seat, while Rhoden was one of three in the truck’s bed. Owen was not wearing a seat belt.

The driver, Landon Cole Shipman, 19, was driving down the road, when at a right-hand curve, the vehicle crossed left of center, running off the roadway to the left, according to the Highway Patrol. Shipman overcorrected, and the truck flipped.

Rhoden was a rising Brevard High School 9th grader who had just finished 8th grade at Brevard Middle School, and Owen was a rising 10th grader who had just completed 9th grade at Rosman High School. Counselors are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rosman and Brevard high schools, and Rosman and Brevard middle schools for any students who wish to speak with someone.

The condition of the other three in the truck was not known as of Monday afternoon.

The Highway Patrol said charges are pending in the case, and the investigation is continuing.


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