Teen's tragic death re-inforces safety messages - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teen's tragic death re-inforces safety messages

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Worth County-- A tragic wreck has state troopers warning teens about the dangers of speeding, driving under the influence, and not wearing seatbelts. Saturday, two teenage girls were in a crash. One of them was killed, the other is in critical condition. Neither was wearing a seat belt.

"When they hit this there was no stopping," says Bill King, who says he'll never forget when he heard what he thought was an explosion late Saturday night.

He walked outside and was shocked by what he found. "I looked again a little closer and I saw the vehicle upside down in the front yard right here, and I told my wife to call 911," said King.

"It wasn't a good sight. The car was upside down and one girl was laying out. She had gotten thrown out and the other girl was halfway in and out of the driver's window," King said.

The driver, Whitney Camp died at the scene. It was her 19th birthday. Her passenger 16-year old Anna Ford was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries. The two were headed east on Douthit Road in Worth County when Camp lost control of her Honda Accord and struck the concrete culvert.

The car flew into the air, struck the telephone wire overhead and came crashing down on its roof. "One of the hardest things for a trooper to have to do is go to an accident scene and see a child or a teenager being involved in an accident," says Trooper Darryl Benton.

The investigation is still on-going, but troopers have determined that Camp was speeding. "What we try to emphasize with the teenagers that are learning to drive is that speed is a factor and it is a deadly factor," Benton says.

Neither teen was wearing a seatbelt. "Seatbelts do save lives. Speed is a factor in accidents, and it does have a deadly factor, but the wearing of that seatbelt can help in those factors as far as a life being saved or a life being lost," says Benton.

King says he and his family haven't slept well since the wreck. He's pleading with parents to be more involved with their children, find out where they're going, what they're doing, and who they're hanging with. "People say 'Oh that's impossible.' Well all things are possible with God. I believe that 100% and this being a God-fearing nation we need to get on the ball that take care of these children," said King.

"I'm not trying to be perfect here because I've done some of the same things when I was a kid and it's only by the grace of God I'm standing here now talking to you," King said.

Camp, who was about to graduate from Worth County High, will be remembered on a special memorial at the school and in the hearts of her family and friends.

Ford is in critical condition at Tift Regional Medical Center. Whitney Camp's funeral is Tuesday at 4:00 PM at First Baptist Church in Sylvester. Visitation is Monday night from 6 to 8 PM.

posted by dave.miller@walb.com