Hanover community remembers beloved teen killed in crash - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Hanover community remembers beloved teen killed in crash

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) -

A beloved Hanover teenager is being remembered as his friends and family patiently await answers on what led to the car crash that claimed his life. It happened on Mechanicsville Turnpike near Spring Run Road late Friday, just before midnight.

Green was his favorite color. That's why balloons and flowers cover the scene where the teenager lost his life in that devastating crash. Those closest to the victim are vowing to keep his memory alive.

Hanna Fleming is in a state of shock, still battling the loss of her boyfriend.

"We were at his house all that night Friday and he dropped me off and he left my house at 11:47. At 11:54, that's when they called the accident, exactly 7 minutes after he left. He was supposed to call me after he got home and he never did,” she said

Although investigators have not identified the victim, friends and family say Evan Bartel, 18, was behind the wheel late Friday when his car hit a tree on Mechanicsville Turnpike. A passerby stopped to help but the car suddenly went up in flames. Relatives say Bartel immediately died.

"My first instinct was like that's not real. I just couldn't believe it. It didn't hit me until the next day. It was so shocking. I was with him that last night hanging out with him in his truck,” said friend Austin Moore.

They gathered for a candlelight vigil one day after the crash outside of the Mechanicsville Food Lion. That's a place Evan and his friends routinely gathered during their free time.

"We sat there and everybody talked and shared stories about him,” Fleming said.

He just graduated from Lee Davis High last year. Bartel loved hunting, four-wheelers, and his dog. As friends and family await answers on how the crash happened, Hanna regrets ever saying goodbye Friday night.

"If your loved one or anyone is tired, don't let them drive home. Make them stay where they are,” she said.

"Last thing he told her when he was dropping her off was that he was falling in love with her. That's how they left,” said Hanna's mother Brenda Harding. "Right at 11:47," Hanna said.

More than 100 people attended the vigil, a testament to just how well the teen was loved and will be remembered.

Evan's mother says their family is amazed by the outpouring of support from the community. They plan to have a memorial service at Beulah Presbyterian Church but those plans are not yet finalized.

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