Funeral Held For Jacksonville Teen Killed In Motorcycle Wreck

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Friends, family members, and classmates gathered on Friday to remember the teenager whose life was cut short in a motorcycle wreck on Labor Day.

An obituary for Christopher Saballos of Jacksonville said services were at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville.

The Jacksonville High School student was on his way to work, according to friends, when police said a driver did not see the motorcyclist.

Beth Purcell, public information officer with Jacksonville Police, said 35-year-old Harris Smith Jr. was leaving a fast food restaurant, did not see Saballos, and made a left turn -- failing to yield the right of way.

The crash threw 17-year-old Saballos from the motorcycle. Police said the teen died there along Western Boulevard.

The Friday funeral comes after a Wednesday candlelight vigil at Saballos' workplace. Nearly 100 people gathered at the Auto Brite Car Wash on Country Club Road to mourn the teenager.

Smith has been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and unsafe movement causing serious bodily injury. He is due in court on October 15th.


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A candlelight vigil Wednesday night honored a local teenager killed this week in a motorcycle accident.

The community gathered at the Auto Brite Car Wash on Country Club Road in Jacksonville, where 17-year-old Christopher Saballos worked.

Nearly 100 people came out for the vigil.

"He never had a bad word to say about anybody," says Jennifer Fisher. "He was just the best person you could ask for and my best friend."

Police say Saballos was killed Monday while riding his new motorcycle, after 35-year-old Harris Smith Jr. pulled out of a fast food restaurant and didn't see the teen.

Eric Sanborn says he managed Saballos at the car wash for 1.5 years. He felt it was important to hold a vigil and release balloons, saying the Jacksonville teen deserved it.

"In hopes that just one of these balloons finds him so he'll know how we feel about him," says Sanborn. "I'm going to go to sleep tonight believing that he got one."

Smith is charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and unsafe movement causing serious bodily injury.


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Christopher Saballos, the 17-year-old Jacksonville High School senior killed in a motorcycle accident Monday, is being remembered by his co-workers at Auto Brite Car Wash.

Auto Brite manager Eric Sanborn says, He was a great employee. Did what he was told, showed up on time. He was on his way to work here that day. Chris was very close to his dad, his mom and his sister. I feel really bad for them. Our thoughts and prayers are with them, but this was Chris' second family."

Employees at the Auto Brite on Country Club Road plan to host their own tribute to Saballos' life.

Donations are being collected for a balloon release and plaque that will be hung in his memory.

Meantime, the Onlsow County School Board said counselors were available to students.

Auto Brite plans on having a candlelight vigil Wednesday night at 6:30 at their Country Club road location followed by a balloon release. They invite the entire community to attend.

Charges of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and unsafe movement causing serious bodily injury have been filed against 35-year-old Harris Smith Junior who police say was driving the car that struck Saballos.


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Police said the Jacksonville teenager who was thrown off his motorcycle on Monday after being hit by a car was killed in that crash.

Beth Purcell, public information officer with Jacksonville Police, said officers were called to Western Boulevard, near Commerce Road, for a crash involving a car and a motorcycle.

Purcell said 35-year-old Harris Smith Jr. was leaving a fast food restaurant and did not see the motorcyclist when he made a left turn, failing the yield the right of way.

The crash threw 17-year-old Christopher Saballos from the motorcycle. Police said Saballos died at the scene of the crash.

Smith Jr., of Cary, is now charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and unsafe movement causing serious bodily injury. Purcell said his bond was set at $2,000.

By Monday morning, jail records showed the Cary man had bonded out of jail.

No word yet on when Smith Jr. is due in court for the charges against him.


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One man is dead after his motorcycle collided with a car in Jacksonville around noon today.

Public Information Officer Beth Purcell confirmed that city police and fire responded to the scene on Western Blvd in Jacksonville right in front of the intersection to the Home Depot shopping plaza.

The driver of the motorcycle was killed in the crash. No details about the victim have been released at this point.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.


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