Jordan High in shock after student killed in car crash in Durham
by WNCN Staff
Tyreic Hemphill, a student at Jordan High School, was killed Friday in a car crash on N.C. 55 in Durham.
DURHAM, N.C. -
Jordan High School was in shock after a student was killed Friday in a
two-car crash on Highway N.C. 55 in Durham.
The accident happened shortly after 4:30 p.m. Friday on N.C. 55, just south of
Riddle Road. Police say a 1997 Honda Civic driven by 16-year-old Tyreic
Hemphill crossed the center median and into the path of an oncoming car driven
by 36-year-old Patrick Bailey.
Principal Jerome Leathers said the school had a somber tone
"It kind of stunned me on Friday because we had just had a
conversation two days before Friday about him completing his college
applications and what school he was going to and what I see (is) him walking
away from me with his head turned back over his shoulder smiling saying, ‘Mr.
Leathers, I got it,'" Leathers said.
Leathers said there was "an eerie
feeling" at the soccer game Friday and the football game.
On Monday, he said, students "stared and looked at one
Leathers called Hemphill "a bright young man" with "great
potential, great talent. Always had a smile on his face when I saw him."
Police officers said Bailey hit his brakes but was unable to avoid a collision,
hitting the passenger side of Hemphill's vehicle.
The crash caused both vehicles to go down an embankment. Authorities said
Hemphill was trapped in his vehicle for several minutes before he was
extricated by Durham firefighters.
Hemphill was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time
later. Bailey was also taken to the hospital for treatment of
The accident remains under investigation. Speed and alcohol do not were not
factors in the crash.
Don Jones, a history teacher, said of Hemphill, "No matter what environment, whether it was an AP class,
whether it was in an academic setting, whether it was in the cafeteria, he was
a leader, very comfortable with who he was. That charisma and that expectation
that he had for himself just rubbed off on everyone around him."