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Two Henry County teens die in car crash

Police are investigating the cause of a crash that killed two Henry County teens late Wednesday evening and injured two other teens.

Principal Rodney Bowler said Thursday that the school is coping with the tragedy.

"It's not a good day," said Bowler. "We're trying to meet the needs of individuals without making it more difficult for others."

Henry police spokeswoman Officer Christy Nebel said the one-car crash happened on Moseley Road about 6:08 p.m. Wednesday. The road connects state highways 138 and 155 north of McDonough.

Joshua Carreker, 18, of Stockbridge, a former Union Grove High School student, and Union Grove High School student Howard "Tyler" Phillips, 16, from McDonough, died from injuries suffered in the crash. The teens and a third passenger Brian Lyle, 17, of Stockbridge, were ejected from a 2003 Honda CRV when it rolled several times.

Driver Nicholas Trexler, 17, of Stockbridge was the only occupant wearing a seat belt, said Nebel. A preliminary investigation shows that Trexler was traveling south on Moseley Road and lost control of the Honda as it entered a curve near Hemphill Road.

Trexler and Lyle were taken by helicopter to Atlanta Medical Center. Their conditions are not known.

Nebel said alcohol is not considered a factor in the crash.

It is just the second week of school for Henry County students. Bowler said Thursday morning that he was waiting on solid confirmation on some aspects of the crash but that counselors were on hand at the school to talk with students and adults in need of comfort.

"We are deeply saddened by events," Bowler said. "And we are assisting any and all adults and students through the counseling department. I think the students are doing a great job in dealing with this the best they can."

Funeral services for both students will be held Saturday at the chapel of Cannon-Cleveland Funeral Home on Ga. Highway 42. Services for Phillips will be at 11 a.m., and services for Carreker will be at 2 p.m.

Henry schools spokeswoman Cindy Foster said that a memory book is being made available to Union Grove students who want to record their thoughts.

"We're doing what we can to provide additional support," she said.

While acknowledging that the days following the deaths may not be the right time to "preach" to students who are licensed drivers, Foster said she intends to talk to her own son about road safety.

"I think it is a time for grief and consolation," said Foster.

"But I will talk to my son when I get home because he was in the same school with these students," said Foster. "I am going to tell him ?You can't drive fast because this is what happens.'"

The fatal crash was the second reported Wednesday. Earlier that morning, a Henry County school bus was hit head-on by a man driving a Ford Aerostar minivan north on East Atlanta Road.

The bus was empty except for the driver, who escaped serious injury and was back on the road Thursday.

However, the driver of the minivan, whom police said was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected and died at the scene.

Last month, students affiliated with Community Christian School in Stockbridge were involved in a crash that killed two and seriously injured a third. James Everett, 13, and Amanda Ramirez, 18, died when the car they were riding in collided with a Jeep pick-up truck July 17.

Driver Jeremy Sheffield, 18, and his brother, Josten Sheffield, 12, are nephews of the school's administrator. James Everett was one of three sons of the school's junior high principal.

Henry police Maj. Lee Brooks said the investigation into that crash is incomplete. He anticipates the results to be turned over to the Flint District Attorney's Office for possible presentment to the grand jury.