LOUISA COUNTY, Va. -- Police identified the teenager killed in a fiery crash in Louisa as 18-year-old Matthew L. Hensley.
Hensley was the only person in his car when it ran off Route 522, near Shelfar Drive, and struck a tree around 12:35 p.m. Wednesday.
"The trooper’s investigation revealed that a 1987 Dodge pickup was traveling south on Route 522 when it went ran off the road to the right, struck a tree and caught fire," Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. Steve Vick said. "[Hensley] was transported to VCU Medical Center where he died from injuries sustained in the crash; he was not wearing a seatbelt."
While the cause of the crash remained under investigation, Vick said speed was considered a contributing factor.
Hensley attended Louisa County High School. He was scheduled to graduate next week, according to friends.
One of those friends, Carlee Berry, described Matt as one of her closest friends.
“Laughing, always making jokes. Never sad. I've only seen him sad once in my life,” Carlee said. "I don't think I could go into school today. He's in my first period, and I couldn't sit in there without him.”
A crisis team has been activated in order to help classmates, teachers and and Louisa High School staff members who might need help following Matt's death, Louisa Schools spokesman Greg Dorazio said.
Hensley was on the inactive roster at the Holly Grove Volunteer Fire Department. Firefighters say it's a tough loss even for people used to handling these kinds of situations.
Carlee and friends came to the crash site Thursday, but they did not expect to see the damage that they did. The friends said they're holding onto the good memories, while saying a prayer for Hensley's family.
“I can't imagine what they're going through right now because I know how much it hurts me,” Carlee said. “I'm really sorry for them."
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