James Wood teen dies in wreck
Posted: January 16, 2013
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — A James Wood High School student died Tuesday afternoon in a single-vehicle crash in West Virginia.
Hunter Crane, 18, of Whitacre, was traveling north on Smokey Hollow Road near Capon Bridge, W.Va., around 3:30 p.m. when he drove off the west edge of the road and struck a utility pole, according to a West Virginia State Police media release.
The vehicle, a 2007 silver Ford Fusion, rolled several times following the impact and came to a rest after striking a tree.
Crane — a James Wood senior — was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
It is unclear what caused the crash, and the incident still is under investigation by Senior Trooper J.D. Carson of the West Virginia State Police Romney Detachment.
The release did not specify whether Crane was wearing a seat belt.
Trooper First Class M.M. Massie and Hampshire County Medical Examiner Penny Hartman assisted with the crash investigation.
Members from the Capon Bridge Rescue Squad, Capon Bridge Fire Department, Gore Fire and Rescue Squad, Slanesville Fire Department and Hampshire County Advanced Life Support 101 responded to the scene.
Crane was an offensive and defensive lineman on the James Wood football team this season, according to the school’s website.
Steve Edwards, Frederick County Public Schools coordinator of policy, records management and communications, said the school learned of Crane’s death Tuesday night.
“The school administration will be holding a faculty meeting in the morning to make all of the staff aware,” he said.
Edwards added that school officials will make an announcement today to students about Crane’s death.
He said Tuesday night that all of Crane’s past and current teachers had already been notified.
There are plans in place for a crisis support team and additional counselors to be available to students, Edwards added.
In addition to playing football, Crane was well known in the local racing community.
Tom Armel, who drives superstock cars at Winchester Speedway, said Crane drove the No. 49 car and had just moved up to the four-cylinder division at the track.
Armel said he thinks Crane finished third in points this season.
“He was a good driver,” Armel said.
He said there is a difference between driving on a race track and driving on the street. In race cars, you have a roll cage and seat belts and you are “kinda protected,” Armel said.
“People are going to be out of their minds,” he said of the teenager’s death.
The news of his passing spread quickly on Facebook Tuesday afternoon as many friends, family and well-wishers posted thoughts and prayers for his family.
“my thoughts and prayers go to the Crane family. hunter was a great cousin and friend rest in peace hunter you will be missed!” one of the posts stated.
Val Van Meter of The Winchester Star contributed to this story.
— Contact Melissa Boughton at email@example.com