Students Mourn Loss of Friends

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Oakdale, Morgan County (WVLT) - The Oakdale Community is still in shock tonight at the loss of two high school students in a car accident just before school started Monday.

Seventeen-year-old Jordan Langley and 15-year-old Jason Neal were killed in the head-on collision. Langley's Chevy Blazer was towed away Tuesday.

Neal's 14-year-old brother, Brandon, his step-brother, 16-year-old Josh Brown, are in stable condition at UT.

16-year old Seth Moore was recently released from the hospital.

As you can imagine, it was really tough for students to come back after the crash, but with the help of ministers, grievance counselors and friends, students made it through an emotional day with two close classmates gone, and three others injured.

"He was my best friend. I just don't know what to do," says Jordan Williams.

Tearful eyes and heavy hearts made their way back to Oakdale School Tuesday morning.

"It's pretty hard," says Williams. "Just knowing that he's not going to be there with me anymore."

Students feel an empty void that 17-year-old Jordan Langley and 15-year-old Jason Neal once filled in the halls of Oakdale.

"It's like a pack of wolves. You take one down, you gotta take the rest," says Tiffany Franklin. "Everybody up here is a family to each other."

This family of students and staff is counting on one another right now for strength.

"It's very somber. They came in very quiet, reverent almost, just because they're not sure how to react right now," says Oakdale Guidance Counselor Yvette Reeder.

Students are expected to go through a rollercoaster of emotions as they mourn.

"They'll be angry, they'll be confused, of course, mourning, crying," explains Reeder.

That's why ministers and grievance counselors were brought in for support.

"We can help them through this in a healthy way and try to answer the questions that they may have," says Reeder.

Students spent today just talking and holding onto one another, in their very early stages of pain.

"We're so close to Christmas. Just celebrating Christmas will be difficult," Reeder says.

"Everybody's going to be going through a hard time, and it's just going to be hard for everybody," says Wyatt Gibson.

And everybody agrees, they'll never forget December 11th, 2006.

"I love him and miss him a lot and I'm just praying for him and his family," Williams says.

Receiving of friends for Jordan Langley will take place at Oakdale school tomorrow night from six to eight.

The burial service will be held Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at the Crab Orchard Baptist Church.

The First Bank of Tennessee in Harriman is taking donations for the Jordan Langley Memorial Fund.

The school asks for continued prayers for all the families involved and for a full recovery for the three boys at UT.


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