Teen charged in death of Mooresville High School student athlete

Teen charged in 15-year-old student-athlete's death

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - A 17-year-old is facing charges in the death of a student athlete at Mooresville High School who died from injuries suffered during an accident on campus earlier this month.

According to the Mooresville Graded School District, student athlete Gavin Sharpe was involved in an accident during a service project on the Mooresville High School Magnolia Campus the afternoon of August 3. Sharpe was riding in the back of a pickup truck when he fell out and hit his head. He later died of his injuries.

Gavin’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader Doug Sheley says there were six teens in the truck, and three, including Sharpe, fell out. The 17-year-old being charged in Sharpe’s death was driving the truck, according to officials. The name of that teen was not provided.

Mooresville Police said they are conducting a traffic investigation, but wouldn’t confirm the vehicle was moving when the students fell out.

“If you’re in the cabin of a truck you have to have a seat belt on. You are allowed to sit in the bed of a truck so long as you’re 16 years of age or older,” said Mark Jetton, an attorney with Jetton and Meredith.

Jetton says that some vehicle safety laws recently changed.

“The law changed in 2015 where it states everyone must wear a seat belt in the car,” said Jetton.

But if you’re over 16 you can legally wear no seat belt or anything while riding in the back of a truck.

“From a safety perspective it doesn’t seem like that makes much sense,” said Jetton.

Jetton says Gavin’s tragic loss of life could be an impetus for legal change.

“I think when you have something like this, it definitely could end up in Raleigh being looked at,” said Jetton.

A GoFundMe campaign was set up for Gavin’s family.

“In an effort to respect the privacy of the Sharpe family , the school district will not offer additional comment at this moment. We will, however, continue to keep this family in our thoughts and prayers through this difficult time,” a statement from school officials read.

Further details surrounding Sharpe’s death were not provided.

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