• Charges likely against teen driver after crash kills friend, injures 2 others

    By: Tom Regan

    Updated:

    CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. - Investigators have not ruled an exact cause of a crash that killed one teenager Tuesday evening and left three others hurt.

    Officials said they believe speed played a factor and said charges are likely against the driver of the car.

    Grief counselors met with students at Creekview High School in Canton Wednesday following the sudden death of their classmate. The school day started with a moment of silence.

    Stephen “Stevie” Smith, 17, was a front-seat passenger in the car that ran off the road around 2 p.m. Tuesday. 

    He died and three of his classmates who were also in the car were hurt, two of them seriously.

    The crash happened on Orange Mill Road in Canton, which authorities pointed out has many curves.

    It happened less a mile from Creekview High School.


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    A Cherokee sheriff’s official told Channel 2’s Tom Regan a blood sample was drawn from the 17-year-old driver, Fred Engamba.

    “There's a large embankment and trees off to the side, and the car went off the road and struck a tree. There was a small fire with the accident as well,” Jay Baker, with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, said.

    Smith died at the scene. 

    Engamba was treated and released from Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, Baker said.

    A 17-year-old back-seat passenger identified as Chase Burr was still at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital at noon Wednesday, being treated for injuries suffered in the crash.

    [GoFundMe page for Chase Burr]

    A 15-year-old back-seat passenger from Canton was treated and released from Wellstar Kennestone Hospital Tuesday night.

    Students at Creekview High School are wrestling with their emotions over the death of Smith, a student with a big heart and big dreams.

    "I was in shock. I didn't believe it at first," student Jake Kaminiski said.

    Friends said Smith dreamed of a career in engineering and excelled in track and field.

    [GoFundMe page for Stevie Smith]

    "He did the long jump and he was really good at it. I think he made it to regionals last year. He was a really good athlete," student Daniel Jarrett said.

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