Teen dies in morning wreck

Staff Writer

On 30 January 2019, at approximately 5:15 a.m., the NC State Highway Patrol responded to and investigated a fatal collision in Catawba County on Kool Park Road. A 2006 Chevrolet passenger car was traveling west on Kool Park Road, crossed the centerline, ran off the road to the left, struck an embankment, and overturned in a creek. The vehicle came to rest upside down in Snow Creek.

The driver, Luis Javier Chavez II, 19, of Hickory was able to crawl from the vehicle and go to a nearby residence for help. He received serious but non-life threatening injuries, was transported by Catawba County EMS to Catawba Valley Medical Center, and was later transferred to Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem.

The passenger, Martin Santillan, 17, of Hickory, died at the scene as a result of the collision. He was not restrained by a seatbelt.

The driver indicated that he lost control after attempting to avoid a vehicle that traveled into his lane. That vehicle has not been located.