Wilmette, News

Car accident in North Carolina kills two, including Wilmette teen

A Wilmette teenager was one of two people killed in a single-car collision on Saturday night in North Carolina, according to information from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Robert “RJ” Fox, 19, reportedly was a backseat passenger in a Volvo sedan carrying six teenagers that careened off Interstate 40 and into a tree around 11:30 p.m. April 6 in Buncombe County, North Carolina — just outside Asheville. A second rear passenger, Sophie Gordon, 16, of Charlotte, was also killed, and two other passengers were critically injured. The remaining two involved, including the driver, sustained minor injuries, the highway patrol says.

According to the patrol, “the vehicle was traveling too fast to safely negotiate the off ramp” when it lost control and left the roadway.

Prior to the crash, Fox and other passengers in the car attended Christ School’s prom on Saturday, April 6, in downtown Asheville, said Head of School Dr. Sean Jenkins. Fox was a junior at Christ School. Jenkins said that a school bus dropped off Fox and other promgoers at the school following the prom.

An investigation is underway and no charges have been filed.

Fox grew up in Wilmette before enrolling in a high school in North Carolina.

Fox graduated from Wilmette Junior High School in 2020, according to a Wilmette District 39 newsletter, and attended New Trier High School his freshman year, the school confirmed.

At the time of his death, Fox was a member of the Class of 2025 at Christ School, an all-male boarding school in Arden, North Carolina, just outside Asheville.

The Christ School community mourned the loss of Fox with gatherings on Monday and Tuesday, April 8-9, according to a tribute to Fox posted on the school’s website and on social media.

“RJ was a brother and dear friend to so many of the boys. From the moment he arrived, his ever-present smile lit up spaces throughout our campus,” the tribute reads.

Fox reportedly was an on the honor roll and in 2023 nominated for Christ School’s Student and Residential Life Award, given in honor of a “willingness to serve,” the school wrote.

He played on the lacrosse team and his final game on Thursday, April 5, he scored two goals in a victory, the school said.

The Christ School baseball team pays tribute to RJ Fox on the diamond.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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