August 30, 2014

Rock Hill teen dies in Richland County crash

Two-car accident involved car and mini van. A student at Northwestern High School died in the crash.

A Northwestern High School student died in a two-car crash in Richland County on Friday.

Richkland County coroner Gary Watts said Benjamin Elliott Owens, 17, died as the result of a 4:45 p.m. accident on Monticello Road near Campground Road.

Owens, of Lowell Trace Road and a Northwestern student, was the driver of a 2002 Mustang struck in the side by a mini van. Owens died at the scene, Watts said. A 17-year-old passenger in his car was transported to Palmetto Health Richland hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

An autopsy showed that Owens died from trauma associated with the crash. The S.C. Highway Patrol continues to investigate.

The 55-year-old driver of a 2005 Honda van was also taken to a hospital, said S.C. Highway Patrol Sgt. Bob Beres.

The van was traveling north of Monticello Road. The Mustang, traveling west of Campground Road failed to stop at the stop sign, Beres said.

Rock Hill schools spokeswoman Elaine Baker confirmed that Owens was a senior at Northwestern High School.

“It’s tragic when a young person loses his life, and I know from experience that the students and staff at Northwestern are still in disbelief that they have lost (one) of their own,” Baker said.

The school tweeted about Owens' death on Saturday, and said another student was injured in the accident with him.

Owens played football and was a cellist in Northwestern's orchestra. He enjoyed playing basketball, fishing and playing the guitar. He was the youngest competitor to complete the 2013 Columbia marathon and was a car enthusiast.

His funeral is 11 a.m. Monday at Greene Funeral Home Northwest Chapel, with Reverend Joey Deese officiating.

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