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Updated- More charges expected in fatal accident PDF Print
Sunday, 25 November 2007 18:00

reyes1.jpg A 3-vehicle collision left a 22-year-old dead Friday.

A 2000 Ford Explorer driven by Juan Manuel Juarez Reyes crashed into the rear of a 2002 Lexus SUV just before 11 p.m. Friday night. The Lexus had stopped to turn left on Poplar Hill Road. The impact pushed the Lexus over 250 feet into a 2003 Ford Watauga County patrol vehicle where it came to a stop. Deputy Perry Scot Brown was not injured in the crash- but occupants of the Lexus were not so lucky.

Lexus driver Sally Ellis Newell and her daughter, 18-year-old passenger Jacqueline Newell were treated and released from Watauga Medical Center.

Sallie's husband, Brian Newell, and son Andrew Newell were transported to Johnson City Medical Center. 22-year-old Andrew died of his injuries. Brian was listed in critical condition.

Reyes’ vehicle crossed the southbound lanes and went into a creek. He was uninjured in the crash. Reyes’ passenger, Helen Oberlies, was treated and released from Watauga Medical Center.

Rescue efforts were complicated by the fact that the cargo area of the Lexus SUV was pushed into the passenger seats. It took Boone Fire Department, Watauga Medics and Watauga Rescue 45 minutes to extricate the occupants from the Lexus. 

The accident forced police to shut down Highway 105 for three hours Friday night.

Reyes has been charged with driving while impaired, driving without an operator’s license and 3 felony counts of causing serious injury with a motor vehicle. Boone Police have confirmed Reyes did not have legal citizenship.


Boone Police say further charges are pending once toxicology reports come back. That could be this evening, Lt. Tom Redmon says. An accident reconstruction team has been investigating since Friday and meets with investigators this afternoon.

In the meantime, Redmon has something he wants to say on behalf of Boone Police Department.

In the meantime, Redmon has something he wants to say on behalf of Boone Police Department.

“I just want to press that drinking and driving does kill. We do want to ensure that our upcoming holidays are safe. Please, don’t drink and drive.”


Andrew Newell was a leftfielder for Pioneers baseball during his tenure at Watauga. Newell wore number 12.


Aisling Broadcasting's sports director, Mike Kelly, contributed to this report. 

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