MONROE, N.C. -- Monroe police said a teen died from injuries she sustained during an accident Tuesday night.
Police said 17-year-old Mackenzie Rae Whiteley was driving in her blue Honda on US 601 around 5:30 p.m. when she crossed the center line and struck a Ford pick-up truck head on.
Whiteley and the truck driver, 30-year-old Roosevelt Dewayne Nives, Jr., were both taken to a local hospital, according to the police report.
Whiteley later died in the hospital from the injuries.
“With the vehicle going completely across the lane we feel something must have occurred inside the vehicle to cause her to do that," said Lt. David Morton, who is investigating the wreck.
"We've had counselors on full staff today meeting with children, meeting with our staff as need be, and it's been a difficult day no question," said Piedmont H.S. principal Jonathan Tyson.
The Piedmont High School senior had enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and was scheduled to begin basic training in August, according to the police report.
"She was due for a promotion in probably April,” said ROTC senior instructor Dr. Lewis Werder. “We were going to promote her to her officer position but she had earned it all year long working with the 9th graders teaching them."
Dr. Werder said it's a huge loss for the school and the ROTC program.
"She was one of the best. She really knew how to inspire the younger cadets."