Teen Killed in Dirt Bike Accident

A Coastal Empire teenager is dead after an afternoon accident while out riding dirt bikes with a friend. The wreck happened in a remote area near Pooler. It looks like 16-year-old Cody King of Pooler and his friend, who both knew the area pretty well, were out doing something they normally do, but were caught by surprise by something in the road.

According to Savannah-Chatham police, King and his friend may have been speeding when they came to a roadblock about a half mile from any paved road. "There was a large, what appeared to be a dead tree that had fallen across the road," explained police spokesman Bucky Burnsed.

Nick Minder is the principal of the Savannah Adventist Christian School located near the scene. He's an avid biker as well, and knows the area where the accident happened. "It's a lot wilder, less used, but if you're an experienced rider it's a lot more fun," he said.

Minder says he saw the two boys heading out for the woods and recognized them as regular riders in Pooler's rural areas. "When we have recess here with the kids, they'll turn around and look at the bikes and watch them ride," he said.

But the tree lying across the road apparently caught King by surprise. He hit it, splintering it and launching over the handlebars in the process. "He was airlifted to Memorial via LifeStar to be treated at the trauma unit," said Burnsed. "I have since learned that that young man has now died."

Burnsed says King was wearing his helmet at the time, but it wasn't enough to save him. Officers on the police department's Traffic Unit are still investigating the accident, and King's body will go to the GBI Crime Lab in Savannah for an autopsy. The other dirt biker with King at the time of the accident wasn't hurt and will not be charged in the accident.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com