WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — We now know the names of the two teenage victims of a deadly head-on crash that took place on NC 74 Monday afternoon.
Troopers say the driver of a stolen car led Forsyth County deputies on a chase. The car made a U-turn and began driving the wrong way onto NC 74. That’s when the suspect vehicle hit another car, killing the suspect, as well as the driver and passenger of the other car.
Troopers have not yet identified the suspect who was killed in the crash, but Highway Patrol has released the names of the two victims: driver 19-year-old Jayce Alexander Haverkos, of Tobaccoville, and passenger 18-year-old Madison Lynn Grotschel, of Kernersville.
FOX8 spoke with Grotschel’s mother who told us that her daughter was getting ready to graduate. The driver was her boyfriend. The two had just gone on vacation together in April.
On Monday at 12:21 p.m., a caller reported that someone was stealing their vehicle from a home on the 7900 block of Old School House Road.
Deputies responded to the area, and a deputy going north on Baux Mountain Road in the Germanton area saw the suspect vehicle, a 2004 silver Mercury Grand Marquis, going south near Dolphin Drive. The deputy turned around and initiated a traffic stop.
The suspect continued south on Baux Mountain Road and exited onto NC 74 westbound.
At the bottom of the entrance ramp, the suspect made a U-turn, drove into oncoming traffic and crashed head-on with another vehicle. Both vehicles caught fire.
The deputy got out of his vehicle and attempted to render aid, and another deputy responded to render aid as well.
The driver of the suspect vehicle and the driver and occupant of the other vehicle were all pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
Witness describes scene
FOX8’s Caroline Bowyer talked with a man who saw it all happen.
He’s traumatized by the whole thing and is putting himself in these people’s shoes, knowing he could’ve been the one driving on the highway.
“It could have been anybody, but it’s just the fact that things got so intense, so fast like that,” said Stephen Cowan, who witnessed the chase and crash.
Cowan watched from his grandmother’s yard off Baux Mountain Road. He said the driver of a stolen silver Grand Mercury Marquis came down the road followed by deputies.
“I saw him go around the roundabout, … flying onto the highway. … He turned around and hit someone,” Cowan said.
Within seconds, Cowan said he heard the sound when two cars crashed head-on.
“You know when you twist the bag that has air in it, then it pops? It sounded like that, but 1,000 times louder,” he said. “The sound of the metal crushing together was something that you could have heard miles away.”
Cowan drove past the scene and took pictures of the stolen car and the other car involved, which was occupied by two people who just happened to be on NC 74 at the time.
In the photo, you can see the smoke from where deputies said both cars caught on fire.
“It wasn’t like a small fire,” Cowan said. “Both the cars were completely covered in flames.”
Cowan said it’s hard knowing three people lost their lives in the cars and knowing he takes the same route to visit his family members and friends every day.
“At that point in time, it could have been me coming to take that exit,” he said. “It’s just really an eye opener, and it just makes you not take life for granted at all.”