Dade County authorities continue to investigate the cause of a crash that killed Logan Dotson, 17, and injured his 16-year old passenger.
"It was raining pretty hard so we suspect it was weather related," said Dade County Sheriff Ray Cross.
According to investigators, the crash occurred shortly before 7:30 A.M.
Authorities have confirmed that Logan was the driver. He and his friend were traveling to school in a truck along Burkhalter Gap Road when their vehicle lost control. The truck left the roadway and took out a utility pole before slamming into a tree.
According to family members, doctors believe Logan died from blunt force trauma to the head.
WDEF was told the other teenager suffered multiple serious injuries throughout his body and had to undergo surgery at Erlanger.
Sheriff Ray Cross told WDEF the crash could not have come at a more worse time.
"This weekend is our prom at our high school and it’s going to be tough. We had several kids show up at the hospital this morning with tears and we sympathize with them," Cross said.
Hours after the tragedy, several family members returned to the crash site to collect items that were ejected from Logan’s truck; Items like his baseball cap that was covered in mud. A family member held the cap tight with his right hand and lowered his head with a sense of disbelief.
The crash happened less than three miles from Dade County High School. Principal Josh Ingle told WDEF he’s known both teens since they were in the second grade.
"They had groups of friends that loved to hunt; loved to fish loved the outdoors; loved running ATV’s, racing; so it’s going to have a tremendous impact on these students. Right now, the best thing we can do is create a culture of support," Ingle said.
Once it became clear that a DCHS student had lost his life and another was seriously injured, the school district released this statement:
As you may be aware, our school district has experienced the death of a student that has affected us deeply. The students and staff will react in different ways as they begin to grieve the loss of one of our own. We all should expect and try to understand that there will be a variety of emotions and responses to what has occurred. The most important thing we can do is provide support and encourage an open expression of feelings.
At the school, we have implemented a plan for responding to this tragic event focused on helping our students and their families get back to regular learning and every day activities as soon as possible. This plan has evolved from the district’s experience with death in the past and the advice of mental health professionals from the community.
Our teachers and counselors have been briefed on our plans and have received the appropriate protocol to be followed. There will be district counselors, central office staff, and members of the community on hand to meet with our students. We will follow our normal scheduling routine, but want you to know that you are welcome to speak with any of the staff on hand. If you feel that your child or family needs some assistance, please contact us, and we will do everything we can to help you.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the school at (706)-657-7517. We know you will join us in our concern and sympathy for the family.