An Osterville teen died after the BMW he was driving rolled over and smashed into a tree in an apparent street racing accident in Harwich early Sunday morning, according to State Police.
Michael Lawrence, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene on Route 6 eastbound, between exits 9 and 10.
The driver of a second vehicle, Adrian Sterling, 18, of Hyannis, was charged with reckless operation of a motor vehicle, speeding, and racing a motor vehicle.
State Police arrived around 12:40 a.m. at the crash site, where they found a black 2002 BMW X5 sport utility vehicle, which had “rolled over and struck a tree along the right side of the roadway,” said Trooper Reid Bagley. Lawrence was the only one in the car.
Preliminary investigation indicated that Lawrence and Sterling, who was driving a white, two-door 2000 Toyota Camry Solara coupe, “were racing prior to the crash,” according to a statement from police.
Bagley said he could not say whether alcohol was a factor.
Both men are former Barnstable High School students, Superintendent Mary Czajkowski said in a phone interview Sunday night.
Czajkowski said grief counselors would be available to students Monday.
“Obviously it’s just really a tragic incident, I think, for both boys and our thoughts are with his family,” she said. “Most important is dealing with our students tomorrow morning and ensuring that they are safe and comfortable.”
Police are seeking a third vehicle that was in the area but not involved in the crash in case anyone in it may have witnessed the circumstances leading up to the accident, according to the statement.
Anyone who was traveling this section of the road during that time period and may have seen either of these vehicles, or the crash itself, is asked to call the South Yarmouth State Police barracks at 508-398-2323.