Victims of Fiery Crash Identified as 2 Winchester Teens, Haymarket Man
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Wynnie Myers had been chatting with her daughter, Ashley, on a cellphone not long before the 18-year-old died in a fiery chain-reaction crash on Interstate 66 early Sunday that killed two others, including her daughter's good friend, also 18.
"They were laughing and chattering," Myers, 44, said yesterday of the teenagers, who were in one car. "They were just full of happiness."
The Winchester teenagers had spent the evening in the District, eating their first sushi before going to bookstores and a dance club. They were on their way home when their 1996 Volvo station wagon had a flat tire on Key Bridge, and they called Myers to come pick them up. As it turned out, a bystander helped them change the flat, so they arranged instead to meet Myers at a McDonald's in Centreville.
"I told them to keep the four-ways on, don't drive over 45 and stay on the right," Myers said she told them. "I talked to them all the way up to 3:22."
At 3:52 a.m., Virginia State Police said, a 2007 Kenworth tanker truck hauling gasoline struck a 2000 Jeep from behind, and the Jeep, in turn, struck the Volvo near the Fairfax County Parkway. The Jeep's gas tank erupted in flames, and all three vehicles were consumed in the fire. The driver of the Jeep and the teenagers died instantly, police said.
Yesterday, police said they were able to positively identify the victims through dental records. Also killed in the Volvo was Sid Cardinale. The driver of the Jeep was identified as Kevin Weeks, 35, of Haymarket. The driver of the tanker, Mac Jerry Kriesch, 43, of Woodbridge, suffered only minor injuries.
Police said that they are continuing to investigate the crash but that Kriesch is the only known witness. He has told police that the Volvo and Jeep were parked in the center-right lane of the four-lane highway and that the Jeep didn't have its lights on when he hit it, Sgt. Terry Licklider said.
"It's not just cut and dried as to exactly what happened," Licklider said. "Were they stopped in the road? Was it a previous accident? Was someone disabled? We just don't know right now."
Ashley Myers and Cardinale were seniors at different high schools, and were described by relatives and school officials as possessing magnetic personalities that meant large circle of friends for each.
"He would talk to anybody. He was friends with all different types and groups of people," Cardinale's mother, Brenda Cardinale, 36, said yesterday. "He just liked to be happy. And wanted everyone around him to be happy."
Cardinale, a senior at James Wood High School, was planning to travel after graduating from high school and then work as a masseur, she said.
Tomorrow he will be buried.