Police: Speed, alcohol factors in fatal wreck with taxi

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A 22-year-old man died in a wreck on Market Street early Sunday morning.

Keagan Hartzell, of Wilmington, died at the scene of a two-vehicle wreck involving a taxi in the 2600 block of Market Street at about 2:45 a.m. Sunday, according to Wilmington Police Department Spokeswoman Cathryn Lindsay.

Hartzell was driving a Toyota headed west on Market Street, where he crossed the center line and struck a Katt’s Taxi head-on with three passengers inside, Lindsay said. The Toyota caught fire with the driver inside. Arriving officers used a fire extinguisher to temporarily put out the fire and pulled Hartzell out of the vehicle.

Hartzell was pronounced dead at the scene, Lindsay said. The taxi driver and two passengers were taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center to be treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

Speed and alcohol appear to be contributing factors in the wreck, Lindsay said. The police department’s traffic unit is still investigating. No charges have been filed in the wreck at this time.

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