ARARAT — One teen died and another was airlifted to a Winston-Salem hospital following a one-vehicle accident early Saturday morning.
Michael Kessey Dehart, 19, of Ararat, was a passenger in 18-year-old Josh Hembree’s vehicle when the accident occurred. Dehart was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident on Ararat Road between its intersections with Nurse and Key roads.
According to Trooper Rex Carter of the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Hembree was traveling east bound on Ararat Road at about 7 a.m. when the vehicle allegedly went off the right shoulder. The car then overcorrected, crossed the center line and hit a tree in the front yard of a residence near 3120 Ararat Road.
Hembree was transported by Surry County EMS to Homeplace Park off Little Mountain Church Road, and then flown by AirCare to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. He was a patient in the intensive care unit at Baptist Saturday night.
Both Carter and Dennis Manuel, chief of the Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad, said Hembree wasn’t very responsive and wasn’t talking before he was airlifted.
Carter said speed was a factor in the accident. “It is unknown (if alcohol played a part in the wreck),” he said. “We are waiting on the test, but I didn’t smell anything.”
Both Hembree and Dehart were wearing seatbelts at the time of the wreck. The rescue squad had to extricate Dehart from the vehicle.
Carter said there have been no charges at the time, and the accident is still under investigation.
Members of Ararat Volunteer Fire Department, Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad and Surry EMS assisted at the scene of the wreck. White Plains Volunteer Fire Department helped set up the landing zone for AirCare at Homeplace.
Funeral arrangements for Dehart, a former student at Surry Central High School, can be found on page 3A of today’s edition.