Two juveniles seriously injured in ATV wreck

By Julie Fann
star staff

Mary and Bill Peeks, 295 Chambers Dr., were watching television Sunday evening around 7 p.m. when they heard a loud noise and Mary stepped out on the porch.
   "I didn't see nothin', so I went back in. Then this man walked up on the porch and knocked on the door and said, 'There's been a wreck out here on a four-wheeler.' He saw the thing turned over in the middle of the road. He said, 'Call 911'," Peeks said.
   The accident occurred on Heritage Drive, near the intersection of Chambers Drive, just off of Chambers Hollow Road in the Keenburg community.
   "Then we went out there, and I saw 'em layin' there in the ditch. One of 'em looked like he was dead to me. He had blood all over him," Peeks said.
   According to Lt. Rocky Croy of the Carter County Sheriff's Department, two male juveniles were riding in a four-wheeler when the driver lost control and the vehicle turned over in a ditch. Croy said the boys weren't wearing helmets.
   Both of the juveniles were seriously injured, and one was airlifted by Wings Air Rescue to the Holston Valley Medical Center, Croy said. The Carter County Rescue Squad transported the other juvenile to the Johnson City Medical Center.
   Bill Peeks said he had heard the boys driving the four-wheeler all day in the warm, spring weather. "They rode that thing all day up and down the road - just as fast as they could go," he said.
   Just up the road at Keenburg Elementary School, members of Keenburg Freewill Baptist Church and Harmony Baptist Church stood outside on church steps and watched Wings Air Rescue members load one of the juveniles onto the helicopter, which landed in the school parking lot.
   The Watauga Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the scene.
   Butch Stout, who is the pastor at Harmony Baptist Church, said he and his congregation thought there might have been a car accident.
   "We heard Wings fly in. You know how it makes that real loud sound. With these winding, country roads out here, we thought there might have been a car wreck," he said.
   Across the street, Ellen Bailey, who has attended Keenburg Freewill Baptist Church for the past 22 years, stood outside the church listening to the loud whir of the helicopter. The sign on the church billboard read, "Are you living, or existing?"
   "They stopped church and said we needed to come out here and move our cars, so that's why we're all out here," Bailey, who is a nurse at the Johnson City Medical Center, said.
   Authorities weren't releasing the names of the victims due to their age.