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Two teens killed in crash
Police say car crashed into an embankment and then a tree.

Date published: 10/23/2008


Two Liberty High School students died last night when the car they were riding in crashed into an embankment and a tree in Fauquier County.

Brian Michael Jacobsen, 17, of Nokesville was driving the 2005 Ford Taurus when it crashed, killing him and his passenger, Eric Richard Unger, 18, of Warrenton, instantly, said Sgt. F.L. Tyler of the state police.

Tyler said both teens were wearing seat belts and speed was a factor in the incident, which occurred about 9:40 p.m.

The teens’ death came at a time of heightened awareness. This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week. Five other teenagers in Virginia have already been killed in car accidents this week, none of which were in the Fredericksburg area.

According to a Virginia State Police press release sent just hours before last night’s crash in Fauquier, there were 50 fatal wrecks involving teen drivers in 2007 and already an additional 48 this year.

Tyler said the crash killing Jacobsen and Unger happened on Route 643, also known as Metz Road, about one-tenth of a mile east of Route 779, Turkey Run Road.

He said Jacobsen lost control of the Taurus as he was traveling eastbound and went around a curve, swerved off the left side and over corrected. The car then hit an embankment on the right side of the road before going airborne, hitting a tree and overturning.

The speed limit on that section of the road is 50 miles per hour with a warning in the curve for 45 miles per hour, Tyler said.

Trooper C. A. Carson and members of the state police reconstruction team are investigating the crash.

Unger's Facebook page says he graduated from Liberty in 2008.

Nationally, teen fatalities have been falling steadily since the mid-1970s, due to vehicle safety improvements and state laws that put restrictions on teen driving, including the number of passengers under 18 a teen driver can carry. In 1975, there were 8,748 crash victims between the ages of 13 and 19, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. In 1990, the number of fatalities had declined to 6,364 teens. There were 5,156 teen crash fatalities in 2006, the lowest number of deaths in three decades.

For more on this incident, read tomorrow’s Free Lance-Star.

- Kelly Hannon contributed to this story.

Ellen Biltz: 540/374-5424