Community mourns teens killed over the weekend
Department of Public Safety troopers were on the scene of a vehicle collision that claimed the lives of three Orange County teens in the early morning of Sunday, Sept. 18.
According to information from the investigating agency, there was a two-vehicle crash on Highway 62 shortly after 3:30 a.m. involving a 2008 Mazda 4-door driven by 17-year-old Grey C. Smith and a 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe driven by 30-year-old Clinton Lloyd. Two passengers were with Smith, and one with Lloyd.
Smith, and passengers 17-year-old Darrick Brantley and 16-year-old Jacob Lloyd Bates, were all killed as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Lloyd, and his 3-year-old passenger were unharmed. A report penned by DPS investigating troopers states none of the victims were wearing seatbelts, but both survivors were properly restrained. The report further lists alcohol as a potential contributing factor to the incident.
Smith, Brantley and Bates were all Juniors at Orangefield High School. School district superintendent Philip Welch released a statement asking the community for prayer and support of the families dealing with the loss of loved ones. Welch said neighboring school districts have been helpful to the Orangefield campus, sending over extra counselors to assist the teens’ classmates through the “unimaginable week.”