Carson-Newman student killed in rollover on Asheville Hwy.
WATE.com | February 23, 2007
By Erica Estep
KNOXVILLE (WATE) — The 19-year-old driver of an SUV was killed in a rollover involving five Carson-Newman students on Asheville Highway early Friday morning. His four passengers were not injured.
Police say alcohol contributed to the crash that killed Roland File, 19, of Gatlinburg. He was driving a 2005 Isuzu Axiom. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected during the crash.
Investigators say the SUV rolled over at least twice and came to rest in the parking lot of the Oak Grove Night Club.
File, a freshman soccer player at Carson-Newman, was known to his friends as “Roly.” He just turned 19 Wednesday.
His parents were out of town on vacation when the crash happened. Roland’s father is Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies General Manager Steve File.
File’s four passengers were wearing seat belts. They are: Joseph Johns, 19, Rodrigo Oliveiro, 20, Guseppe Schwartz, 21, and Jakop Storhaug, 21.
Three of the men were File’s soccer team mates.
File’s Soccer Coach Allen Vital says, “His family was out of town, so right away I was thinking about them. They’ve been so supportive. I know they love him so much.”
“He was always hard working, always giving 110 percent of himself. He did not say much. All the guys absolutely loved him,” remembers Coach Vital.
“You hear someone you were close to, let alone a teammate, but a friend that’s been in an accident like that you can’t really imagine what to say or what to do,” says teammate Jussi Wooler. “I think the first thing that goes through your head is his family. I can’t even imagine what they’re going through.”
“We love them and we are here for them,” adds Vital. “Having children of my own, I can not comprehend receiving that news. I don’t know how you deal with that.”
Police responded to the crash a little after 3:00 a.m. Friday on Asheville Highway just east of Gov. John Sevier Highway. The Axiom was the only vehicle involved.
Investigators are working to determine how the men obtained alcohol since three were underage.
Carson-Newman College held a prayer service Friday. Students are also getting grief counseling.
Abigail Kirkpatrick last saw Roly at dinner Thursday night. A day later she’s attending a prayer service for her friend. “Everyone who knew him needs somewhere to be”, she says. “Needs to get close to God at this time. We need to pray and we need to be with each other and be able to be sad together and love on each other.”
Carson-Newman student killed in Asheville Highway wreck
WBIR.com | February 23, 2007
By Katie Allison Granju
A student at Carson-Newman was killed in a car wreck on Asheville Highway early Friday morning.
Authorities say the single-car accident happened at around 3:15 a.m., just east of John Sevier Highway. The 2002 Isuzu Axiom rolled over and came to rest in the parking lot of the Oak Grove Lounge.
Killed in the wreck was Roland File, age 19, who was driving the car.
Three passengers surivived the wreck without injuries. All were wearing seatbelts.
Police believe alcohol played a role in the wreck.
Teenager Killed in Rollover Crash
VolunteerTV.com | February 23, 2007
Knoxville (WVLT) – Authorities say they believe alcohol played a factor in an early morning crash that claimed the life of an East Tennessee teen.
Knoxville Police say just after three this morning, a car ran off Asheville Highway just east of John Sevier Highway.
The vehicle rolled and came to rest in the parking lot of the Oak Grove night club.
Officers say the 19-year-old driver, Roland File, was thrown from the vehicle and died of his injuries.
Four passengers in the car, who were wearing their seat belts, were not hurt.
I met Rollie about five years ago when I worked across the street from Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies at the Rhythm Section. He had a gift certificate, which in and of itself was a rare occurrence, but it was his name which really caught my attention. Obviously, his actual name was Roland, but he signed it (legibly) as “Rollie,” and that was what everyone called him. He had an unusual name. It is an oddly poetic coincidence that his nickname describes precisely how he died.
Don’t read me wrong. What happened is a tragedy. Let no fool tell you otherwise. But, as a wise man once said…
When you endanger the lives of everyone on the highway by driving under the influence of illegally obtained substances while not wearing your seatbelt, expect protection and safety from neither God nor mere mortals.
Whatever actually happened last night, Rollie is gone. No degree of bogus “closure” or “healing” will change that. Prayer cannot reverse death.
Bottom line: If you get inside a 2,000+ lb. box of metal with wheels with the intention of driving it around, you’d better be in control.