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Community remembers teens with candlelight vigil

Students at Wilson High School are too emotional to speak after losing three of their classmates in a tragic accident, but others from the community are speaking volumes for them.

Posted: Apr. 28, 2018 9:37 PM
Updated: Apr. 29, 2018 10:44 PM

A community came together Saturday night to remember three lives cut short.

A candlelight vigil was held for a trio of tight-knit teens who lived their lives together and died together.

16-year-olds Coby Hines and Tyler Nelson, and 17-year-old Braden Turner, were killed in a car crash on County Road 30 in St. Florian Thursday night.

Students at Wilson High School are too emotional to speak after losing three of their classmates in a tragic accident, but others from the community are speaking volumes for them.

"These boys—we all loved them," said Belinda Phillips. "You know, some people knew them better than others, of course."

Phillips says she didn’t know the three teenagers who killed in the car crash, but her daughter went to school with them; and two nights after the wreck, she says the whole community is grieving.

“We’re hurting with their families today, and we want their families to know how much we love them and how much their memory will go on," she said.

“They’re not going through this alone," said Keith Herston. "We’re all suffering. We’re all going to need help.”

Herston is the guidance counselor for Wilson High and spent a lot of time with the three students.

Herston has nothing but good things to say about them.

“Every time you saw them, they had a smile on their face," he said. "They were always making people laugh.”

Those memories are what's making it so hard for some people to cope with what’s happened.

“This school here and this community is all one big family," Phillips said. "When one hurts, we all hurt.”

Even though tragedies like this are tough, folks in the community say it’s important for everyone to come together.

“We have to share each other’s pain as well as we do the joys," Phillips said. "And this is a time that we’ve got to be there for those families and for the students.”

“The Wilson community is very strong," Herston said. "We pull together and that’s what’s important.”

Wilson High School isn’t the only school remembering the victims. Several other schools brought donations to the vigil, and many will be wearing blue on Monday in memory of the teens.

Wilson High School will be dismissing students at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Visitation for the victims will be in the school's gym from one 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.

The funeral will start after that.

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