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‘We were not racing’: Teen who survived deadly crash says car was run off road

After months of rumors, Taj Richey says he wants to explain what happened before the wreck

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – An Oakleaf High School senior who was involved in a deadly crash in September said he wants to set the record straight. After months of hearing rumors about racing, Taj Richey said he wants to tell News4Jax what he remembers of the moments before the wreck.

Richey was in a crash that killed his best friend, Keondre Moss, 16. Brian Ransom was also injured. Richey has undergone five surgeries to date: one to amputate his left leg and several more to save his right leg. He is scheduled to receive his prosthetic leg next week.

After months of hospital stays, he is finally back home in Orange Park, where he spoke to News4Jax from his bed.

“What do I remember? Us hopping in the car,” Richey said.

Richey said Ransom offered him and Moss a ride home and the car was low on gas. He said they were on the way to the gas station when their lives were forever changed.

The car smashed into a tree in the median of Oakleaf Village Parkway.

“We were not racing," Richey said. "Two cars were racing, and one of them ran us off the road. We hit the curb and flipped and hit the tree. There was a witness. They tried to do CPR on my friend.”

Stephanie Elder, Richey’s mother, said witnesses confirmed to police what her son told investigators, that two other cars were racing and ran them off the road.

“I believe there was some other cars involved, and I just wish they would come forward," Elder said.

Elder also wants to know why the investigation is taking as long as it is.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said the investigation is ongoing, and a spokesperson told News4Jax there is no update on finding any surveillance footage from the crash.

Moss’ mother said investigators confirmed to her that they are waiting on blood test results to come back before they release information about the crash.

As Richey moves forward with his new life, he wants closure and to know who caused the crash. He believes it could be other students from Oakleaf High School or someone who often travels on Oakleaf Village Parkway.

Elder has taken a leave of absence from her job to be able to care for her son.


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