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Bay High School community mourns the loss of recent graduate

Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 3:48 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - At just 18 years old and just weeks after graduation, Maddie Hayes had her whole life ahead of her.

Saturday morning, her life was cut short in a car crash.

“Maddie made us all better for having the opportunity to know her,” Bay High Principal Billy May said.

Family, friends, and Bay High faculty gathered at Cobb Gym Monday to hold a candlelight service in honor of the late Tornado.

“I will always remember her diligence and work ethics that made her so successful,” Pam Wiggins, Maddie’s science teacher, said.

Maddie’s success led her to be an AICE honor student, though she did have one problem during her first-period science class.

“Even if she was tardy to my class getting coffee every day,” said Wiggins.

Her work ethic did not stop there. After only two years on the weight lifting team, Maddie earned her way to becoming seventh in the state.

“Good day or bad day, she was the epitome of hard work and drive,” Coach Greg Bailie said.

Maddie is also described as an active member of the million-dollar band color guard.

“She’s an extremely talented performer, deservingly so after spinning flag since middle school,” Band Director Adam Brown said.

And every million-dollar band member knows upon dismissal of rehearsals and performances, it all starts with “Bay.” That’s something Maddie said loud and proud.

“How are your feet? Together. How was your stomach? In. How was your chest? Out. How was your chin? Up. How were your eyes? With pride. How were your eyes? With pride,” said Brown.

The gym flooded with one final dismissal for Maddie. Brown said she really exemplified the last line.

“What kind of pride? Red pride. What kind of pride? Red pride. What kind of pride? Red pride,” said Brown.

Red pride many say will flow through Maddie Hayes and all she touched forever.

Maddie’s academic success led her to being accepted to all the colleges she applied to. She received a full ride to Florida Atlantic University where she was set to study criminology.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help cover funeral expenses for Maddie.

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