Two Oldham County families grieve for teens killed in car accident

Two Oldham County families grieve for teens killed in car accident

Two Oldham County families grieve for teens killed in car accident


by Gene Kang

Posted on June 26, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 29 at 6:45 AM

OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Two Oldham County families grieve the loss of two teenagers.

One memorial site is for 15-year-old Michael "Tanner" Wheat. The other is located across the street for 14-year-old Autumn Foree. The crosses and memorial sites are placed where the teen's bodies were found.

"He loved that little girl. We know he did. We have nothing but good things to say about her. They both made a mistake," Michael's older brother, Jesse Smith, said.

Smith remembered his brother at the memorial site, someone he called a good kid. Photos of Michael are placed on a memorial cross with candles and a pack of cigarettes.

A high school couple described by Michael's mother, Connie Smith, as, "The modern day Romeo and Juliet but I guess that ended being the final of their fairy tale."

"That's not how it is. Autumn and this boy had been only talking since May. You know, the Romeo and Juliet thing is the furthest from the truth. It's just a teenage infatuation," Ronda Blair, Autumn's cousin, said.

A high speed crash took the lives of both teens over the weekend. Damage is still left at the 4300 block of Highway 146 in Buckner.

Investigators say Michael first pulled over when an Oldham County Deputy stopped him for driving without headlights, around 3:00 Saturday morning.

Michael suddenly sped off with Autumn in his passenger seat, reaching 118 miles an hour, according to the Oldham County Sheriff's Office. Neither teen had a license as the car slammed into a telephone pole that snapped in half.

"All of a sudden I heard the loudest bang that I ever heard in my entire life," witness, Joshua Henry, said.

Michael’s mother said he was staying at a friend's house and borrowed their car to pickup Autumn.

Michael was about to start his sophomore year at Henry County High School.
Autumn was excited to be a freshman at Oldham County High.

"A god loving young lady. A straight A student. Full of pep and joy. She just made the high school cheer team. Whenever you were down Autumn could lift you up," Blair said.

"He's a great kid and he didn't do things like this," his brother Jesse said.

But his mother says they had a history of sneaking out of the house to meet; a fatal decision that caused heartache for both families. They hope it is a wakeup moment for all.

"For all of these kids to learn that every choice they make in life today has a consequence," Blair said.

It will take several weeks for a toxicology report but for now police don't believe alcohol or drugs were a factor.

Both families have funeral arrangements this week.

The visitation for Michael "Tanner" Wheat will be held Friday from noon to 8 p.m. at the Oldham County Funeral Home in LaGrange followed by another visitation Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Assembly of God Church.  The funeral will follow.

Autumn Foree's family says there is no feud between their family and Michael Wheat's family.