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Transylvania County wreck claims lives of two 15-year-olds

On Monday morning theHighway Patrol confirmed two people died in a wreck in Transylvania County Sunday night. They have been identified as Cole Owen and Austin Rhoden, both only 15 years old. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

On Monday morning the Highway Patrol confirmed a Transylvania County wreck Sunday night has claimed the lives of two teenagers.

RELATED | 1 dead in Transylvania County crash

They have been identified as Cole Owen and Austin Rhoden, both 15 years old.

School officials tell us that Austin Rhoden was a rising Brevard High School 9th-grader who had just finished 8th grade at Brevard Middle, and Cole Owen was a rising 10th-grader who had just completed 9th grade at Rosman High.

The wreck happened along Tanasee Gap Road in Balsam Grove, and shut down the road in both directions near Sandy Branch Road until after midnight.

News 13 initially reported only one fatality in the wreck. Authorities have since told us two youths died as a result of the wreck.

Troopers say Landon Shipman, who's not facing any charges at this time, was speeding when he entered a curve, lost control, overcorrected and overturned.

Troopers say his brother Gabriel, a rising sophomore at Rosman High, was thrown from the truck bed, and at last check was in serious condition.

His classmate Cole Owen, who was riding in the front passenger seat, wasn't wearing a seatbelt and was killed.

The wreck also claimed the life of Austin Rhoden, a rising freshman at Brevard High. Austin was in the truck bed, and was thrown out when it overturned.

A fifth passenger in the truck was flown to the hospital.

Five people were in the truck: two in the cab and three in the bed.

Even though it's the first full week of summer vacation, Superintendent Jeff McDaris said counselors at Brevard Middle and High Schools as well as Rosman Middle and High Schools are on hand should any students need to talk.

A GoFundMe online fundraiser has been created for Austin Rhoden's funeral expenses.

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