UPDATE 3: 16-year old boy killed in Harrison crash
HAMILTON, COUNTY TN. (WRCB) -- New details are surfacing about the crash on Sims Road in Hamilton County last night. Investigators say 16-year-old, Mason Lewis, was driving home when he lost control and hit a tree.
Lewis is a sophomore at Ooltewah High School, he was rounding a curve in the road when the crash happened around 11:30 p.m.
"I reached in and got my first aid pack," says soldier, Jacob Kays. "I ran down there."
When Kays envisioned coming home from Afghanistan he didn't picture a tragic accident scene unfolding before his eyes.
"The tree impacted the driver side," he says. "It pushed him from the driver seat into the passenger seat."
Exhaustion from his journey home didn't stop Kays from springing into action when he saw the car wrapped around his neighbor's tree.
"There's nothing I could do for him," he says. "It's something I'll think about for the rest of my life."
The soldier reached 16-year-old, Mason Lewis, before first responders arrived. He quickly realized it was too late.
"I just survived some of the most intense moments of my life," he says. "I'm excited to be home on leave, and here's a kid wrapped around a tree."
Like the victim, Kays attended Ooltewah High School. He says he knew Mason Lewis' brother.
"Very sad," says Ooltewah High School Principal, Mark Bean. "Anytime this happens to a young person, it's hard to take."
Bean says it was late when The Owls finished their football game against Cleveland High School.
Lewis' older brother is on the football team. Investigators say the 16-year-old was on his way home.
"We're just extremely sorry this happened," says Bean. On Facebook Saturday Lewis' friends openly grieve. Saying, 'We miss you Mason. Rest in peace'.
Even though Kays didn't know Lewis, what he witnessed Friday left him crushed.
"I haven't been to church in a few years," he says. "Last night I called my buddy and told I was going to church with him on Sunday."
Investigators say they believe speed and wet roads contributed to the crash. The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is handling the investigation.
Counselors will be available for Ooltewah High School students when they return to school Tuesday. School officials say Lewis' family have not finalized funeral arrangements.