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Two BHS students killed
At least one other person hurt when vehicle hit tree
Sunday, February 24, 2008
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
Two Bassett High School students were killed and at least one other person was injured in an auto accident early Saturday in Henry County.
Ryan Lee Patton, 16, of Collinsville, and Andrew Evan Bourland, 16, of Martinsville, died from injuries received in the crash, according to Sgt. Bob Carpentieri of the Virginia State Police.
Patton was driving a 1991 Honda Civic on Virginia 684 (Carver Road), about seven-tenths of a mile east of Virginia 1711 (Ruths Creek Road) when the Honda ran off the left side of the road and struck a tree about 12:30 a.m. Saturday, Carpentieri said.
Bourland was a passenger in the vehicle, the trooper said. He added that Patton was not wearing a seatbelt and that the investigation of the accident is continuing.
Both Bourland and Patton, the son of Brenda and Joe Patton of Collinsville, were taken to Memorial Hospital of Martinsville where they died a short while later, the sergeant said.
Brenda Patton said two other passengers, both from North Carolina, were in the car and may have been hurt in the accident.
She believed one of them was Kenneth Reynolds, 19, who had lived in Henry County but had moved to North Carolina about a year ago. He and Ryan Patton were friends and had stayed in touch after Reynolds moved, Patton said.
She added that she thought the other person in the car had given Reynolds a ride from North Carolina to Collinsville. She was not certain of his name or age but believed he was hurt in the accident.
Eric Earnhart, a spokesman for Roanoke Memorial (Carillon) Hospital, said Reynolds was listed in fair condition there at 11 p.m. Saturday.
Bourland is the son of Bill Bourland of Martinsville and Colleen Bourland of northern Virginia, and is the step-son of Angela Crowe Bourland, according to Lynn Pritchett, Angela Crowe Bourland's sister.
Bourland and Ryan Patton had been "real good friends" for more than a year, Brenda Patton said. "Ryan used to go to his house and work out" on gym equipment there, she added.
The boys had spent part of Friday night at Bourland's house watching movies, Patton said, adding Bourland lives nearby. Reynolds, Bourland and possibly the third person had planned to spend Saturday night at the Patton home, she said.
One of the two youths from North Carolina has a girlfriend in Henry County, Patton said, and she believes the four boys took the girl home and were on their way to Ryan Patton's house when the crash occurred.
"Ryan was supposed to be home at midnight," she said.
Both Ryan Patton and Bourland were sophomores at Bassett High School. A moment of silence was held in their honor before the start of Saturday night's Piedmont District basketball tournament at Bassett High School.
School Superintendent Sharon Dodson said the school division has activated its protocol for crisis intervention. Grief counselors will be at the school Monday to help if needed, she said.
Ann Martin, a friend of Brenda Patton, said Ryan participated in track and wrestling at school.
"He'd do anything for you," she said, adding Ryan Patton enjoyed working on cars, dirt bikes and anything with wheels.
"Ryan was talking about going in the Marines" when he was old enough, Brenda Patton said, and that was typical of her son.
"Anybody that needed help, he helped them. Ryan was friends with everybody," said Patton, who owns and operates the family business, Garfield's Place, a restaurant in Koehler, with her mother, Pat Arnold of Fieldale.
Ryan Patton had been "hanging around home" more since the January 2007 death of his brother, Travis Patton, Brenda Patton said.
He was sitting in a patio chair on the deck of the family home, talking to a friend on the phone, when he apparently fell from the chair onto the deck and against the deck railing, police said.
A lower wooden rail broke and he fell onto a concrete patio below and died, police said.