Scouts, leader killed in crash

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Three young Boy Scouts and their leader are dead following a fiery crash in Southampton County Sunday. A fourth scout escaped from the crash.

According to police reports, the five were in a convoy of vehicles returning to Franklin from a weekend camping trip in Blackston when the sports utility vehicle they were in ran off the road, crashed into a tree and burst into flames. The accident occurred at 12:05 p.m. along Route 35 near Sebrell.

The victims, all from Franklin, have been identified as John Oliver, 43, Luke Drewry, 12, Carter Stephenson, 14 and Jackson Fox, 13.

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The injured boy, Michael-John Oliver, 12, son of the driver, was flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Others in the group of 10 scouts and two leaders witnessed the accident.

Residents near the scene said they attempted to rescue those inside the vehicle, but the flames and heat were too intense.

The Virginia State Police is investigating the accident. According to early reports, there was no indication that the SUV’s driver attempted to return to the highway before the crash.

Franklin City Public Schools will be closing on Wednesday and Thursday, November 8 and 9 at 12:30 p.m. to facilitate students and staff attending funeral.