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Jon Nelson

Recent Screven Grads Involved In Truck Crash

By Jon NelsonPosted July 23, 2013 5:46pm (EDT)
tj heinemeyer

tj heinemeyer


This has not been a good off-season for Georgia high school football... and I, honestly, don't like writing these stories...

But, at the same time, I think you should know about these things so you can spread good vibes their way- because the folks in Sylvania really need them right now...

Recently, the HQ has had to report on the death of three Brooks County (GA) football players in a truck crash. Now, we shift to just south of Augusta and where six teens — five that were on the Screven County (GA) High roster last year — were injured in a crash early Sunday morning.

Some are recovering from serious injuries, but two remain in the hospital awaiting surgery, according to friends and family.

And, frankly, looking at how the Georgia State Patrol has described the accident, I have no idea how any of these people survived the crash...

Here's what the GSP says happened:

The accident report says the truck was traveling “at an extremely high rate of speed” when it went off the road onto the south shoulder and into a ditch.

The truck traveled in the ditch around 624 feet before striking a private driveway with its undercarriage, becoming airborne.

The truck traveled 57 feet in the air before striking a small tree.

Then it traveled 72 feet, hit a fence, entered a pasture where it traveled 336 feet before striking a second fence.

The truck began spinning counterclockwise, moving another 48 feet, before striking a second tree with its side.

Then it rotated clockwise another 18 feet before stopping in a wooded area.

Chance Harkins, a Gamecocks DB last season and enrolled at the University of the Cumberlands, was slated for surgery Monday for pelvic injuries, but it has been pushed back to Wednesday because of other surgeries in the hospital that he is currently in- according to his father, Shayne's, Facebook page. Harkins also suffered head trauma.

Both Harkins and TJ Heinemeyer (pictured, right from his Facebook page) suffered head injuries and were listed in
critical condition. Jeffrey Friese also suffered head injuries as he was behind the wheel of a Ford pick-up when the accident happened.

Passengers in the truck were Harkins, Heinemeyer, Hyrum Robert “Bobby” Hodges, Dylan Edward Koch, and a 16-year-old minor

Heinemeyer and Friese, who graduated from Screven County High last year, were listed as offensive linemen.
Koch, a 2013 grad, was listed as a linebacker and suffered "upper body injuries," and the 16-year-old, whose lower body was injured, was listed as a wide receiver.

Holly Bragg of the Statesboro Herald newspaper caught up with Holly J. Smith- a mother whose daughter is friends with some of the injured:

From Smith through Bragg on Monday night:

“TJ (Heinemeyer) hasn’t shown any improvement. Chance (Harkins) is doing a little better. They both need surgery, but the brain injuries are the priorities. (The 16-year-old’s) surgery went well and he is resting and hungry. Jeffrey (Friese) and his family went home so he could rest. Dylan (Koch) is staying at the hospital to be by Chance’s side and Bobby (Hodges) is still the hero.”

Hodges reportedly helped responding troopers identify the others in the truck, she said.

All six were taken to a hospital in the Screven County seat of Sylvania. But some were transported to Georgia Regents Medical Center in Augusta.

Harkins, Friese and Koch are charged with not wearing a seat belt, according to GSP reports. Friese is also charged with DUI, reckless driving and failure to maintain lane.

More when we know more... and please keep everyone in Screven in your thoughts...

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