By MIRANDA ORSO
---- — PLATTSBURGH — A former Peru resident was killed when an alleged high-speed race down a highway near Myrtle Beach ended in tragedy.
A memorial service is planned for 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Macdonough Monument in downtown Plattsburgh to honor the memory of Jacob “Jake” Young, 27, who was working in South Carolina before the Oct. 22 accident.
Although he was born in Lake Tahoe, Young moved to Peru as a child and spent his early years there before graduating from Peru Central School in 2003, according to friend and event organizer Amanda Langley. She said he had been living near Miami in recent years.
As an event coordinator with Sports Management, Young helped organize triathlons, including the annual Lake Placid Ironman race.
Langley said Young had been busy setting up a race in Myrtle Beach before the fatal accident.
Witnesses told WMBF News in Myrtle Beach that Young was a passenger in a green Chevy Camaro driven by Jared McRae Mahler, 25, that appeared to be drag racing a black Camaro down a residential highway before crashing into a tree and catching fire.
Myrtle Beach Police Department reports say Mahler was attempting go around a slower-moving vehicle when he lost control of his car, slid into a center median and struck a tree head-on.
The black Camaro, allegedly racing Mahler and Young, did not stop following the accident, and police are still looking into who was driving the car.
Upon arriving at Grand Strand Medical Center, Myrtle Beach Police were told that Young died as a result of blunt-force trauma sustained in the accident.
They interviewed Mahler after he was treated for a broken clavicle and noted in the accident report that they detected a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and that he had glassy, bloodshot eyes.
Mahler admitted to police that he and Young had just finished a round of golf, where he consumed “two small Bud Lights” and had eaten only a “little snack cake” that day before heading back to their hotel.
On their way back, a black Camaro pulled up beside Mahler and Young, revving the engine to provoke a race before taking off at a high rate of speed, he said.
Mahler told police he accelerated after the vehicle but did not know how fast he was going leading up the crash.
He was charged with felony DUI and is due back in court Dec. 21.
Langley is encouraging friends to attend Friday’s memorial at the monument, where people will release sky lanterns and share their memories of Young.
His family requests donations be made to a charity of choice in lieu of flowers.
Email Melissa Orso: firstname.lastname@example.org