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Lancaster High grad dies in crash

LANCASTER -- A single-car crash along Grace Avenue late Thursday killed a Lancaster teen and sent another to a Charlotte hospital, officials said.

Johntavis Lamar Campbell, 18, died at the scene from head injuries, Lancaster County Coroner Mike Morris said.

Tory Blackwell, 17, was flown to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, Morris said. He was listed in fair condition Friday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Neither Campbell, a Lancaster High School graduate, nor Blackwell, a former Lancaster High student, was wearing a seat belt, Morris said.

"They were well liked by staff and students," said David Knight, Lancaster County school district spokesman. "They were both energetic and fun to be around. Our hearts go out to their families."

Thursday's wreck was the second fatal crash in a week along Grace Avenue, Morris said. Last week, two people died about two miles from Thursday's accident, he said.

Around 11:20 p.m. Thursday, Blackwell was driving north on Grace Avenue in a 1999 two-door Infinity when the car went off the road on a curve, overturned and struck a tree, said Cpl. Bryan McDougald of the S.C. Highway Patrol.

The speed limit in that area is 35 mph. It is not known how fast Blackwell was traveling. The wreck shut down Grace Avenue until about 6 a.m. Friday, McDougald said.

In 2008, 14 people younger than 19 have died in collisions on roads in York, Chester and Lancaster counties, McDougald said. Three young people have died in Lancaster County, one in Chester County and 10 in York County, McDougald said.

"Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers," he said. "That's why much of our energy, efforts and resources go into trying to prevent all teenage crashes and fatalities."

More than 730 people have died on South Carolina roads this year, according to the state Department of Public Safety. That's down from 882 people who died on state roads through the same time last year.

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