Reems Creek – North Buncombe High student Kayla Desiree Hensley, 18, of Brinwood Drive off Reems Creek was found dead by Buncombe County Sheriff’s Deputies Saturday night (Nov. 11) around 11 pm.
A juvenile suspect, Hensley’s brother, “...has been charged with first degree murder and is in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Juvenile Justice,” said a press release from the sheriff’s office.
“A homicide investigation was initiated by the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office...[after a] call for service, referenced as a suspicious person, was made at 10:34 pm,” said the release, which went on to state that deputies arrived at the home 12 minutes later.
“Upon arrival deputies encountered the reporting party and a juvenile, white male. Deputies spoke to the juvenile and then began a search for the victim to render aid, if possible,” states the release, not saying why they thought aid would be necessary. “Additional law enforcement personnel were requested and arrived at the complainant’s residence at 10:49 pm.”
The release said that Hensley “...was found shortly thereafter at the bottom of Brinwood Drive.” The Tribune has learned that the body was found near the dumpster at the bottom of the hill that services the trailer park where Hensley lived.
“Sheriff’s office personnel continued to process the scene throughout the night, clearing the scene Sunday morning at 10:32 am. This incident was domestic in nature, and there was never an ongoing threat to the surrounding community,” stated the report.Read more...
When we contacted Buncombe County School System’s Stacia Harris, who is communication director for the system, for a comment from North Buncombe Principal Samantha Sircey on the loss of one of the students at North Buncombe, Harris sent this reply: “As this is an ongoing law enforcement investigation, we will not be able to provide any interviews; however, we can let you know that North Buncombe High School will have a crisis team available to students and staff for as long as necessary beginning Monday morning. We encourage our students, teachers, and staff to speak to one of our trained counselors, if necessary.”
Asked if Dr. Sircey would be offering any last words for one of her students, Harris replied, “Today is a very difficult one for all of the students and staff at North Buncombe. We will be able to provide you a statement, but it will have to be later this week. Thank you for understanding!”
Last weeks headlines
Bereaved son concerned over cyclists’ lack of empathy
By Clint Parker email@example.com
North Buncombe – James Carver recently lost his dad. A hard experience to deal with, but an encounter with some bicyclists along River Road did not make his ordeal any easier. According to Carver the funeral procession left Madison Funeral Home and used River Road south to make the trip to the cemetery to where Carver’s dad would be laid to rest.
“Our funeral procession came up behind four or five bicyclers...the lead SUV from the funeral home finally got an opportunity to go around them. So he went around them. There was another car behind him and they went around. The hearse wasn’t able to get around them. So we ended up following them for, oh, gosh, it seemed like five miles down River Road,” said Carver. Ask how much time did that equal to Carver said about 15 minutes or more.
Carver said they kept looking back and saw that it was a hearse and the flashing lights, but failed to yield the right-of-way to them. “They just kept peddling away...kinda weaving in and out of the road so it didn’t give us an opportunity to pass and we were doing about 12 miles an hour.”
When the funeral procession turned up the Old Marshall Highway in Woodfin to make the final mile or so to the cemetery the bicyclists turned too and still did not yield. At this point the hearse driver took the opportunity to pass and according to Carver members of the procession did not share good words as they went by. “I think everyone in the funeral procession filled their ears as they went by,” said Carver. Read more...
“It was really disheartening that people didn’t have enough respect and they knew that there was a funeral procession,” explained Carver’s wife, Evonda. “It was sad.” Asked if she thinks this type of incident gives bicyclists a bad reputation, Evonda said, “I think it contributes to it.”
“The motto is share the road. The problem is they want to take the road. You know it’s very dangerous for cars to try to pass on these roads. Especially on River Road. My opinion is if they’re going to share the road, they need a tag, lights and insurance just like everybody else. ‘Cause we have to maneuver around them,” said James.
“They were between the yellow line and the outside white line so you couldn’t go around them,” said Bernie Edwards, another member of the funeral procession and father-in-law to Carver, who also witnessed the incident. “I thought they were very rude...They would not move over. They had plenty of chances to get out of the road and out of the way...and that’s what makes people so mad and upset about bikers.”
The Tribune contacted the NC Highway Patrol Master Trooper Chris Knox who is in the public information
office for the agency, to see if he could shed light on what the law says about the cyclists yielding to a funeral procession. “We would just have to fall in line with what the law says,” said Knox. “Bicyclists…are afforded the same rights to the roadway as vehicles and they do not have to pull off the road to let faster traffic pass them...it would be up to them to decide whether they wanted to pull off and allow it to pass.”
However, long-time mountain biker and road cyclist Jason Posey explained his thinking as an avid cyclist. “It’s just the courtesy...it’s almost like an ambulance or fire truck,” said Posey, who is owner of Carolina Fatz Cycle Shop on Brevard Road, when he heard the story of the incident. Posey has spent years on the roads and in the mountains of Western North Carolina. He says he really doesn’t want motor vehicles of any kind following him and is quick to motion them around when it’s safe to pass. As for the incident, “Merge, get out of the way. A funeral is coming...[show] respect.”
Editor’s note: Full disclosure: One of the persons mentioned in this report is an advertiser with this newspaper.
Three-vehicle accident sends one to the hospital
By Clint Parker
Weaverville – A traffic accident on Thursday evening, October 26 sent one person to the hospital when three vehicles crashed at the intersection of 25/70 and Monticello Road in Weaverville.
According to information obtained from Weaverville Police Detective Alan Wyatt, at approximately 7:50 pm on Thursday a three-vehicle wreck occurred between Roger Dale-Heyward Rector, Jr., of Candler who was driving west on US 25/70 approaching the Monticello Road intersection in his 1999 Mazda pick-up truck.
That’s when “a 2007 Cadillac operated by Stanley M. Evans, of Pelzer, SC, turned left from US 25/70E at the intersection into the travel path of Mr. Rector,” said Wyatt. “The Mazda pick-up struck the Cadillac’s passenger side which caused the Cadillac to careen into a 2012 Toyota operated by Sheena Dawn Sutton, of Alexander who was stopped at traffic signal on Monticello Road. Read more...
“The collision caused extensive damage to both the Mazda and the Cadillac, and minor damage to the Toyota. The passenger of the Cadillac sustained serious injuries from the collision and was taken to Mission Hospital,” Wyatt said. He also added that “no traffic violations have been charged at this time, and the wreck remains under investigation.”
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