A typical day of driving to school ended in near-tragedy for a 17-year-old Eastern High School student as she was driving on Shorts Corner Road this morning.


According to Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Wayne Blevins, Rachel Owens, 17, Blue River Church Road, was driving a 2002 Ford Windstar van to school when the vehicle left the road at a sharp curve. 

Blevins said the vehicle went airborne about 40 feet and hit a tree, which kept it from going into the creek.


“The road was wet….she was going just a little bit too fast and started to turn, but shot off into the curve,” said Blevins. “She was about to go up Pickerill Hill….following her sister and her sister’s boyfriend.”


Blevins said Owens was able to get herself out of the vehicle.

She reported that the vehicle was smoking but a few minutes later when Salem Police Major Detective Scott Ratts passed, the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames.

Blevins said she was reporting pain in her lower stomach and hips, but was treated and released from St. Vincent Salem Hospital. 



Pierce Polk Volunteer Fire Department was called in to put out the fire and the Washington County EMS was called to transport the victim.