ENC student killed in crash identified; community speaks out

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – As a public school community in the east continues to mourn the loss of one of their students in a tragic accident, police have released her name.

Winterville Interim Police Chief Chris Williams says 15-year-old Caroline Lupton was killed in a crash on Highway 11 at the intersection of Beacon Drive near Fred’s Food Club on Wednesday.

Pitt County Schools Director of Student Services Karen Harrington says the Crisis Response Team immediately stepped in to provide assistance.

“Typically students that we see we’ll take a note of their names and do some follow up particularly those that may have really expressed you know just some more upset feelings,” says Harrington.

Police say a commercial box truck marked ‘Horizon Forest Products’ of Raleigh slammed into the back of the car in which the ninth grader was a passenger.

Lupton was a former student at Winterville Charter Academy. In a statement, Principal Annastasia Ryan told WITN, “Our hearts are broken for this incredibly beautiful family. Caroline was a member of our school community for many years and we watched her graduate from WCA with pride.”

Lupton’s theatre group, Smiles and Frowns Playhouse, also said in a social media post, “Our hearts are saddened and we offer our sincere sympathies to her family and friends at this devastating time. She will be remembered and she will be missed.”

Harrington says going forward, she encourages parents to monitor their children.

“Following an incident sometimes even students that might not have been impacted directly, particularly when a young student like this passes they may just have fears or anxiety,” says Harrington.

Chief Williams says Lupton was one of three people inside the car who were transported to ECU Health Medical Center by an ambulance. He says the truck driver was checked and released on scene.

The investigation continues.