Catawba teen thrown from back of pickup dies

A 15-year-old Catawba boy was killed Tuesday night after the pickup truck he was riding in crashed into a tree.

Kyle Ellison was riding in the bed of a 1992 GMC Sonoma on Cureton Ferry Road when the crash occurred around 4:30 p.m., authorities said.

Ellison would have been a sophomore at Rock Hill High School this year, his mother said. He is the third Rock Hill High student killed in a crash in the past year.

On Tuesday, Ellison was riding in a truck that swerved off the road on Cureton Ferry Road, 6 miles outside Rock Hill and hit a tree, troopers reported. Ellison apparently was thrown from the back of the truck, said York County Deputy Coroner Ev Amick.

Ellison died at the scene, Amick said. An autopsy will be performed today.

The name of the driver is not being released because the driver is a minor.

There were two other passengers -- one in the front seat and another in the bed of the truck, troopers said. Both the driver and the inside passenger were wearing seat belts. Both were taken to Piedmont Medical Center.

The crash is under investigation.

Ellison's mother, Tracie Ramsey, said her son was an energetic teenager. "He smiled all the time," she said.

Ramsey said Ellison was the lead singer in a rock band. He liked to skateboard and spend time with friends.

In total, more than 30 people have died on York, Chester and Lancaster county roadways in 2007.