Families mourn 19-year-olds killed in I-85 wreck


MEBANE, N.C. (WNCN) — Families are mourning the deaths of two teens who lost their lives in a car crash along Interstate 85 Wednesday.

Troopers say the vehicle they were traveling in went off the road at high speed and crashed into trees around 2:30 p.m. between exits 164 and 165.

The driver, Corena Johnson, and passenger, Kelleigh Shropshire, had become close friends after meeting at a local community college last year.

RELATED: GoFundMe for Corena Johnson’s family

Pieces of the car, shoes, and the sun visor are still in the woods where Johnson and Shropshire, both 19, lost their lives.

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Johnson’s mother, Ronda Johnson, was at the scene trying to find answers about how her daughter’s car ran off the highway.

“It feels like a dream,” she said. “I only had to be here because I just lost my mom two weeks ago and it’s like if there’s really a God, how could he actually do this? My brain can’t even process.”

EARLIER: 2 teens dead in I-85 crash near Hillsborough, officials confirm

Ronda Johnson still can’t believe the news.

“I’m like in a daze,” she said. “I sat up until 530 this morning waiting on her to pull in.”

State troopers say speed was a factor in the crash. They say Corena Johnson’s car was coming around a curve before it ran off the highway and into the woods.

Ronda Johnson says the curve is dangerous.

“Sometimes coming through at the speed limit — or most people do 70, — you get loose at that curve,” she said.

We reached out to North Carolina’s Department of Transportation for answers about making the roads safer.

A spokesperson for the department says interstates are built by the safest standards to handle cars driving the speed limit.

Ronda Johnson has a message for other teen drivers.

“Nobody is promised tomorrow,” she said. “Don’t push it. It’s not worth it.”

Ronda Johnson says her mother died two weeks ago, and she had been taking things day-by-day. Now, she says, it’s minute-by-minute.

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