HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – Neighbors in a small community near Loris are mourning the deaths of two teenagers who crashed into each other while on dirt bikes.
Two Loris teens were riding dirt bikes on Southern Crest Drive, a rural road in the Allsbrook community, just after 11 p.m. Wednesday. Tyrell Gayle, 19, and Nathaniel “Taye” Long, 16, crashed head-on and were pronounced dead at the scene. South Carolina Highway Patrol says Gayle and Long were not wearing helmets.
Neighbors say Gayle and Long’s deaths are unfortunate.
“It’s just a tragic and sad situation all the way around,” said Christina Petty, who lives on Southern Crest Drive. “I knew both of them. I knew Taye really well. It’s just a sad day that this has happened.”
The crash happened on a straight stretch of Southern Crest, in front of where Terry Long, who isn’t related to Nathaniel Long, lives.
“I didn’t realize it happened here,” Terry Long said. “I thought it happened down the road at that big curve down the street. When I came out here just a while ago, I saw it and it was just shocking to know that they wrecked right in front of my house.”
They’ve also noticed more teens driving bikes recklessly on the recently paved Southern Crest, as well as nearby dirt roads.
“They just zoom up and down the road, popping wheelies and acting silly,” said Terry Long.
Neighbors also say they hope teens enjoy riding dirt bikes safely, so another tragedy doesn’t happen again.
“They don’t have any headlights on (and) no reflective gear, so you can barely even see them,” Petty said. “I think this will be a wake-up call.”
South Carolina law says anyone under 21 must wear a helmet on a motorcycle. It also applies to similar vehicles like dirt bikes.
Highway patrol is still investigating what caused the crash.
A GoFundMe for Gayle has been set up.