One Young Islander Dead, Two Seriously Injured In One-Car, Upper Carolina Saturday Morning Crash



Scratches and red paint on this power pole are the only signs of the fatal accident.



UPPER CAROLINA — An early-morning, single-car accident on Saturday, January 10, took the life of 16-year-old Elvis Smith Jr. and left another young island man in critical condition.

Emergency responders had to use extrication equipment to remove three of the five people who were riding in the heavily-damaged vehicle. The driver of the vehicle and a front seat passenger were reportedly unhurt.

Melody Rames, communications manager for the Virgin Islands Police Department said the incident was reported to authorities around 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning.   

“On Saturday, January 10, a 26-year-old male was operating a red 1995 Honda Accord eastward on Centerline Road, just past Colombo’s Smoothies, when the vehicle ran off of the roadway and collided with a utility pole on the northern side of the road,” the VIPD spokesperson said.

Emergency workers began performing resuscitation on 16-year-old Elvis Smith Jr. and another person at the scene, according to Bob Malacarne, training officer for St. John Rescue. The two were in the back seat of the wrecked car, Malacarne said.

“We had members who arrived on the scene in about 10 minutes,” Malacarne said. “We worked with the fire department to extricate two of the passengers.”

“One was about 15 years old; he was unresponsive,” Malacarne said. “We began CPR and he was transferred to Myrah Keating (Smith Community Health Center).”

The police spokeswoman said the severity of the accident became apparent almost immediately.

“Elvis Smith Jr., a 16-year-old, expired on the scene; he was seated in the rear, middle,” Rames said. “A 22 year old in the right rear had a head injury. Another male, age not recorded, in the left rear was in critical condition.”

There was an unofficial report that the passenger with the head injury was transported by the Star of Life IV ambulance boat to the Roy L. Schneider Hospital for emergency care and was later air-lifted to a hospital on the U.S. mainland.

Another victim was airlifted from the helipad at the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Centers around 11 a.m. Saturday.

The impact of the crash into a utility pole knocked out power for hundreds of residents on the island’s eastern end for more than three hours, according to a spokesperson for the V.I Water and Power Authority.

Jerain Fleming, spokesperson for WAPA, said electrical service was restored after line crews repaired the damaged utility pole at the accident scene.