A Ledyard High School sophomore was killed in a crash on Tuesday evening.
Police said they received several 911 calls around 4:12 p.m. about a vehicle rolling over on Rose Hill Road and officers and fire officials responded to find a 1992 Ford Ranger pickup flipped over.
The driver, a 17-year-old Benjamin Buchanan, had climbed from the vehicle and was transported to Backus Hospital to be treated for minor injuries, police said.
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Buchanan got his license on Jan. 21 of this year and was prohibited from carrying any passengers in the car while driving in the first six months. This stipulation would hold up until his 18th birthday in October, the DMV told NBC Connecticut.
The passenger, 16-year-old Zackory Salomonson, of Ledyard, was inside the truck and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
The initial investigation indicates the pickup was going east on Rose Hill Road, went off the road, hit a tree, rolled over and landed on its roof.
On Wednesday, the principal of Ledyard High School, Amanda O. Fagan, announced Salomonson's death to all students.
She described him as a "super fast sprinter" and member of the All-Conference relay teams at the ECC Championships this winter. The sophomore enjoyed mechanical tasks like working on cars, engines and household repairs.
"I’m going to end with the same thoughts I shared after Thanksgiving, when, impossibly, our school dealt with a similar tragedy. Some of you will need help today, tomorrow, or in the coming weeks, because the death of a high school student is sobering. It’s simply not supposed to happen quite like this. Teenagers shouldn’t lose their friends; athletes shouldn’t lose their teammates; parents shouldn’t bury their children. There is no playbook, no neat set of rules for enduring a tragedy like this together…but that’s the word we’ll latch onto in the coming days: together," Fagan said.
Police are investigating the cause of the crash and they ask anyone with information to call the Ledyard Police Accident Investigation Team at (860) 464-6400.