May 13, 2007
HARLEM, Ga.---Three families and two communities are grieving a tragic accident that killed two people and injured two more.
A truck ran off the road and crashed into a tree early this morning off of Harlem-Grovetown Road near Young Drive. That's right outside of Harlem in Columbia County.
Mangled metal is all that's left of the Dodge Ram truck four friends were driving in until it slammed into a tree, shattering lives forever.
19-year-old Mallory Jason and 23-year-old Cameron Newman were killed after the truck Newman's brother Brandon was driving lost control around Dead Man's Curve and skidded at least 50 feet down a ditch and into a tree.
Cameron was riding behind his brother in the back seat. Investigators say it was his side that hit the tree first, killing him instantly.
The truck then flipped up on its side and killed Mallory Jason, who was sitting in the front passenger seat.
A 15-year-old girl riding in the back of the truck was ejected and thrown into a barbed wire fence.
"It can't be happening," said Broc Lynch. "I don't know how to describe it. It's terrible."
All afternoon, friends of the victims came one after another to visit the site of the accident firsthand. Many were still visibly shaken by the news.
"I feel really terrible for the mom," Lynch said. "What kind of a Mothers Day present is this?"
"I'm kind of in awe...I just don't believe it," said James Reese.
Brandon and Cameron were from the area. They graduated from Harlem High School with Lynch.
He says the two brothers were best friends and always together. Now while he mourns for Cameron, he also is worried for older brother Brandon.
"He's the big brother. He always looked out for Cameron. I don't know what he's going to do."
Friends describe Mallory as a fun loving person who was full of life. She was a recent graduate of Evans High School and had recently been promoted at her job.
Reese last spoke with her just one hour before the accident.
"They were all amazing friends," he said. "I wish they were here. I wish we could go back and somebody could say something to them."
Brandon Newman is conscious tonight at the hospital. As for the other female passenger, she's believed to be in stable condition.
Investigators were back at the crash site today, marking the roads, taking pictures, and collecting evidence, trying to determine how the accident happened.
No word yet on whether alcohol or speed contributed to the crash.