2 dead after Tennessee teens possibly drank racing fuel

GREENBRIER, Tenn. (WKRN) – Two teenagers have died after the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office say they became ill from an incident last week involving teenagers ingesting a substance determined to be racing fuel.

Logan Stephenson (Courtesy: The Stephenson family)
Logan Stephenson (Courtesy: The Stephenson family)

A second teenager, Logan’s best friend, was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for what police say is an “undisclosed ailment.”

Both boys, Logan Stephenson and J.D. Byram, were reportedly among a select group of teenagers in Greenbrier last Wednesday when the incident happened.

Stephenson, a 16-year-old student at Greenbrier High School, was found unresponsive inside his home the next morning and pronounced dead at the scene. He is survived by his parents, grandparents, and six brothers and sisters.

Byram was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in critical condition where he died Monday night.

“Our hearts are heavy today as we have learned that a second young man has died from the incident last week,” said Sheriff Bill Holt. “We ask that everyone continue to pray for both of these families as they go through this tragic time.”

J.D. Byram (Courtesy: The Byram family)
J.D. Byram (Courtesy: The Byram family)

The Greenbrier police chief told News 2 Tuesday that investigators received information from friends of the teens that several had been drinking Mountain Dew mixed with racing fuel, which can be bought at some gas stations and is used for any car associated with racing, including drag racing.

Two other Greenbrier High School students were taken to the emergency after they reportedly told investigators they drank racing fuel. They were released and deemed OK.

The police chief also told News 2 Stephenson and Byram possibly drank the same mixture and it may have caused their deaths, but the connection won’t be confirmed until autopsy results are completed.

Authorities are also still awaiting toxicology results. The investigation continues into both boys’ deaths.

The sheriff’s office is also asking people to refrain from posting or spreading rumors regarding the circumstances as they are “deeply disturbing and harmful to the families that are already going through a tragic time of loss.”

Police say if you know someone who may have consumed a similar mixture to seek medical attention at once.

Authorities are also asking anyone with information about the incident to come forward and call the Greenbrier Police Department at 615-643-4467.

“You will not be in trouble with law enforcement if you were present at this gathering,” police said. “Our goal is to ensure the safety of our citizens and get medical help for those who may need it.”


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