A young man is dead and another is in the hospital following a high-speed car crash on Wakefield Plantation Drive in Raleigh Sunday night.
Police have charged the driver, 21-year-old Samuel Beadle, with death by motor vehicle and reckless driving in the crash near Towngate Drive.
Those who knew them say 20-year-old Zachery Riggle and Beadle were close friends.
“Not only did Zac and Sam work together, but they’ve been best friends for a long time,” said Josh Avery, who worked with the pair at Canopy Landscaping.
On Sunday night, Riggle and Beadle were in a car crash. Riggle didn’t make it.
“He was always real upbeat, real positive, brought the best out in people,” said Riggle’s high school friend Brennan Zande. “He’d make ya smile, make ya laugh. He definitely left before his time, sadly.”
Avery says everyone at the company is heartbroken to know they’ll never see Riggle again.
“One of the guys … we work with, he texted me today and he said, ‘He has a heart of ten men’ and he did man,” said Avery.
According to the wreck report, Beadle was traveling on Wakefield Plantation Drive at an extremely fast speed when his car left the road and he crashed into a tree, spun out and hit a fire hydrant. Police say his car then rolled over onto its roof.
“It’s hard to believe it because you hang out with someone for so many years and you’re around them for so long and then out of nowhere one morning you’re at work and you get a text from your friend like, ‘Hey Zac Riggle just got in an accident.’ Like wow he’s gone,” said Zande. “I hadn’t seen him in a few months at least and it’s sad to know I’ll never get that last goodbye.”
According to police, Beadle was traveling around 80 mph in a 35 mph zone. Police also suspect he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Riggle’s high school friend Zande is angry.
“I may be smiling now, but it’s kind of just a way to cope with it,” Zande said. “It’s a sad and tough thing, not being able to spend time with your friend because his friend wanted to make a bad decision and drink or do drugs or whatever he was doing and then drive and then his friend doesn’t die, but kills Zac? It’s just so unfair.”
Avery says Beadle is expected to have surgery Tuesday.
“Sam,” said Avery. “He’s another, same deal young and fast. Just full of energy and sometimes makes wrong decisions, but again a good heart, a good worker. I’ve got nothing negative to say about either one of the boys.”
Neither of the men was wearing their seatbelt. Zande hopes his friend’s death will be a lesson to other young drivers.
“Be smart,” said Zande. “Think first. Don’t go out there and drive if you’ve been drinking. Some people will be like ‘oh you’re fine, you’re being a chicken.’ That’s just stupid. You’re gonna get hurt. You’re gonna die. Make the right decision.”
Neighbors say teens race on that road all the time and they are hoping this will make police step up enforcement in the area.
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