5/28 UPDATE: Officials with East Tennessee State University confirmed with News Channel 11 Tuesday morning that both ATV riders killed Sunday in the Windrock Park area of Stoney Fork were students at ETSU.
According to the university, both 19-year-old Jonathan Laws and 19-year-old Dillon Akins were dean’s list students who just finished their freshman year.
We’re told Laws was an engineering technology major while Akins had not yet declared a major.
Stay with News Channel 11 as we continue to follow this developing story.
Three riders were killed Sunday in the Windrock Park area of Stoney Fork when their ATV fell more than 100 feet into thick brush.
A fourth person was found in serious condition by emergency responders, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office said Monday. The injured person, described only as a minor, was airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.
The riders were from North Carolina and guests at Windrock Park.
Killed were Ronnie Akins, 47, Dillon Akins, 19, and Jonathan Laws, also 19, all of Weaverville, N.C., which is about 100 miles east of Knoxville.
WLOS, an Asheville-area TV station, reports Dillon and Jonathan were both students at East Tennessee State University.
Dillon Akins and Johnathan Laws had been basketball players at North Buncombe High School. The school’s basketball team page on Facebook said in a post: “The Blackhawks suffered a tragic loss tonight. Our hearts are saddened as we mourn the loss of Johnny, Dillon and Dillon’s father. Johnny and Dillon were two fine young men. Our hearts and prayers are with their families. Please remember the families in prayer.”
The ATV, a side-by-side, left a trail and fell more than 100 feet, the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office said. The accident was reported around 1:18 p.m. and rescuers had to cut through thick brush and trees to reach the crash site, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office said.
Windrock Park consists of 73,000 acres and says it is the largest privately owned riding area in the United States, according to its website. It has an Oliver Springs address.