By Holly Toal
A 2011 Medina graduate from Albion was killed early Sunday morning in a car accident on Culvert Road in the Town of Ridgeway.
According to the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, Terry James Moyer Jr., 17, a rear-seat passenger, was ejected from the 2004 Saturn sedan operated by Joseph C. Pearl, 18, of Albion. Randy P. Vanhouten, 18, of Albion, was a passenger in the front seat.
Police say it appears Pearl lost control of the car in the Erie Canal underpass on Culvert Road and upon exiting the tunnel on the north side, ran off the west side of the roadway and struck a tree. The force spun the vehicle around.
The incident occurred at about 1 a.m.
Moyer was transported by ambulance to Medina Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:45 a.m. Pearl and Vanhouten were also taken by ambulance to MMH, and Pearl was later flown to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.
Katelynne Klossner was driving behind the Saturn with some friends when the accident occurred. She said they had all met up at McDonald’s and she was following behind Pearl along Route 31, but lost sight of the vehicle once it turned on to Culvert Road.
“They were going probably 80 miles an hour,” she said Sunday afternoon while visiting the sight of the crash.
Klossner said she couldn’t see the lights of the car she was following when she went under the canal tunnel and almost drove right past the crash, but then saw some debris in the road and that’s when she pulled over.
A taxi cab also pulled up behind her and called police.
“I don’t know if the car flipped or anything,” she said.
Immediately after the accident, Klossner said Pearl got out of the driver’s seat and walked around, and he was bleeding from his face and head.
“We couldn’t find Terry,” she said.
After looking around, Moyer was found laying unconscious on the ground several feet from the vehicle.
Klossner said she didn’t know if Moyer or Vanhouten had been drinking, but that Pearl had been.
Earlier Sunday, Klossner had stopped at Strong to see how Pearl was doing.
“Joe’s doing good, but he has stitches under his eye, on his head, and his neck is broken,” she said. “Randy also has stitches.”
Klossner said she didn’t know the young men involved in the accident too well, but that Moyer was involved in high school sports. He graduated from Medina High School in June and was planning to attend Alfred State College.
The crash remains under investigation by the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, which says it appears alcohol and excessive speed contributed to the accident. Charges against Pearl are pending.