Jackson County has been mourning the tragic loss of three Sneads High School students: 15 year old Teddy Jeter, and 16 year olds Bo McClamma and Brandon Hobbs were killed Thursday afternoon in a car crash near Grand Ridge.
State troopers said Teddy Jeter was driving east on Sandridge Church Road when he lost control of his car. The vehicle slid sideways and slammed into a large oak tree. He and McClamma were pronounced dead on the scene. Hobbs was air lifted to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital where he later died.
News Channel 7's Bergen Baucom spent Friday at Sneads High School talking to students and teachers. To say they were in a state of shock would be an understatement.
Few things in the south compare to a fall Friday night at a high school football stadium. But this particular Friday night will be different. Instead of facing Cottondale High School on the football field, the town of Sneads is facing tragedy. They are mourning the loss of three young students taken before their time.
"We hold them, love them, let them know we're here" Sneads High School Counselor, Mindy Howell told us.
The halls were silent Friday morning as students, teachers and an entire community were thrown into state of shock. "We lost three of our babies" Howell said.
Though the bell rang on schedule throughout the day, few people noticed. "There going from class to class, we have counselors going with them. Some of them have asked to go to other classes, we've allowed them to do that. We're just letting them do what they feel they need to do" Sneads High Principal, Faye Parker explained.
Some students checked out of school for the day, others lingered by the same desks and lockers they did the day before, remembering good times with buddies now gone.
"Brandon, he liked to tell jokes- especially at breakfast" one friend recalled.
"One of my greatest memories of Teddy is him painting his face, in the 9th grade last year at a pep rally. Being on the front row, screaming, so involved with the crowd and leading the 9th grade" Howell told us.
"Bo was the quiet one, until you got him around people he knew. Then, you couldn't get him to be quiet" said another peer.
One classmate tearfully told us, "We were like a family. We grew up since kindergarten some of us,"
Shawn Graham taught Hobbs, Jeter and McClamma World History. He said the three empty desks were just too much to bare.
"They all kind of sat in the same area of the classroom" Graham said. "Yesterday I had to move Brandon away from where he originally sits- he likes to talk. And Bo, he doesn't say anything and Teddy likes to talk. But, there's really nothing I can say to the kids, so I just figured I'd let them express their emotions and write on the desks."
And that's exactly what they did. Students covered the boys lockers and desks with notes and final farewells.
Some told us, there was simply no end in sight to the loss they were experiencing. "When the funeral's over, this wont be over- absolutely not. Our lives are changed forever" Howell said.
Instead of helmets and cleats on the field Friday night, the stadium will be full of candles, memories and broken hearts. A group of students planned a candlelight vigil to honor the lives of their friends taken much too soon.
As of Friday, funeral arrangements had not been confirmed.