It's heartbreaking when tragedy strikes. Today, a community is pulling together, and we join them in praying for the families and friends of the two Staunton River High School students who died on Wednesday morning in an accident.
17-year-old Jacob Baird, a senior and football player, and 16-year-old Katie Thurston, a junior and member of the school's choir, lost their lives in the crash. 18-year-old Gradon Graybill and 19-year-old Shawn Hall are recovering from their injuries.
The students at Staunton River High School, where the four teens attended, are wearing the school colors of black and gold today. A Facebook page has also been created in memory of Jacob and Katie.
On Saturday, Jacob Baird was to be a referee at the Harvest Bowl where 9 & 10 and 11& 12 year old boys' football teams will compete. Jacob's younger brother plays for one of the teams. Rather than cancel the Harvest Bowl, it has been renamed in Jacob's memory. On this Saturday, as a community mourns and tries to heal, the 1st Annual Jacob Baird Invitational will be played.
Many of the young boys will wear the #82 on their helmet, a tribute to Jacob who wore the number on his high school jersey for Staunton River.
Police said that Jacob was driving a Ford Mustang and was turning onto Route 24 from Route 653 when the car was struck by a pickup truck in the Goodview area around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. One man who helped at the scene said Katie was seated behind Jacob. Gradon and Shawn were on the passenger side.
Our prayers to the two students who are recovering from the injuries, to the driver of the truck that hit the Ford Mustang, and the families, friends, and Staunton River High School community.