Freshman Cole Patrick, 18, of St. Joseph, Mo., died Friday morning when the 2007 Chevrolet pickup truck he was traveling in left the road and hit a tree off of U.S. Highway 169 and Cook Road, according to the St. Joseph News-Press.
Patrick, who had been riding in the backseat passenger seat and had not been wearing a seatbelt, was pronounced dead on the scene shortly after 3 a.m.
The driver of the pickup, 17-year-old Dylan S. Pierce, of DeKalb, Mo., was transported to Heartland Regional Medical Center with minor injuries and has since been released.
St. Joseph police believe alcohol and speed were factors in the crash, and Pierce is being held in the Buchanan County Jail on an investigative charge of driving while intoxicated, though no formal charge has been made.
Front seat passenger Brent S. Bush, 18, of DeKalb, suffered minor injuries and was allowed to leave the scene for the hospital in a private car.