Will and Jamie Reid, of Philadelphia, are shown on their wedding day on May 26. The couple died in a wreck in Asheville on Aug 13. Special to the Citizen-Times
Asheville, NC-- A young Philadelphia couple who died in a traffic accident in Asheville on Sunday had been married less than three months and were in town to attend a friend's wedding when their hired limousine ran off the road and struck a tree.
The horrific accident may result in charges against the limo's driver, Rodney Koon, according to court documents released Tuesday.
Will Reid, 26 and Jamie Reid, 25, who both worked as teachers, were riding in the back seat of a Lincoln Town Car when Koon lost control and the car veered off Interstate 26.
The accident happened about 11 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of I-26 just south of the I-40 junction. Jamie Reid died at the scene, and her husband died at Mission Hospital later that day. Koon, 45, is hospitalized at Mission Hospital, but his condition was not available Tuesday.
Family members of the Reids said the couple had attended a friend's wedding Saturday and were being driven to Asheville Regional Airport for a return flight home when the wreck happened.
In search warrant applications filed Tuesday at the Buncombe County magistrate's office, investigators noted Koon's "actions directly contributed to the collision" and listed misdemeanor death by vehicle as a possible crime.
The warrants were issued to allow officers to search the Lincoln. Among items seized was a digital recording device in the car's electrical system that could reveal speed and other details of the car's operation just before the collision.
On Tuesday, police were back at the accident scene to reconstruct the crash, police Sgt. Dave Romick said. Koon lost control in a sweeping curve. The car left the road on the left side, narrowly missing a guardrail, and traveled across a grassy shoulder, then down an embankment before crashing into a tree.
The investigation is ongoing, and police will consult with the District Attorney's Office to determine if charges are warranted, Romick said.
Koon operates A Premier Transporation Service Inc. and regularly takes air travelers to and from the airport. His company holds an airport permit allowing the service, an airport spokeswoman said.
Dana Kendall, a Koon acquaintance and owner of Asheville Premier Transportation, another limo company that serves the airport, said the accident left her stunned.
"He's a very nice guy, superfriendly," Kendall said. "It's really a horrible situation. It's just tragic."
Will Reid's father, James Reid, an orthopedic surgeon in Phillipsburg, N.J., said the couple were a perfect match and were very much in love.
"He was very talkative and had a dry wit," Reid said of his oldest son. "He was very funny. She was just beautiful and nice and happy. She was very caring. They were very much caring for each other."
Will Reid, a math teacher at a Philadelphia charter school, and his wife, who taught seventh-grade writing and literature at an inner-city school, were married on May 26. Both held master's degrees.
A double memorial service for the Reids will be at noon Saturday at Doyle-Devlin Funeral Home in Phillipsburg, N.J.