MANHEIM, LANCASTER COUNTY—Four Lancaster County High School students were killed in a car crash Sunday morning, leaving their classmates & community devastated.
"They're all great guys, they all had their special things, just everything about them, they always had something.. they were all great friends and it just sucks to lose them," says Senior student Blake Kreider.
The victims were all members of the Manheim Central Football team.
It seems everyone in Manheim is having a very hard time dealing with the deaths of these students. Their loss was very sudden & tragic.
"Kids don't see you, they see you as someone who's hard nosed and maybe they think you don't care about them, but I can honestly say I love the kids, I love them and I loved these four kids," says Football Coach Mike Williams.
He worked one on with with the students; Freshman DeVaughn Lee; Sophomores Nicolas Bryson & Cody Hollinger; & Junior John Griffith.
The car crash happened Sunday morning on Mount Wilson Road in South Londonderry Township, Lebanon County. The students were on their way home from an annual football breakfast. Pictures of the cars at the crash scene were taken by Lebanon Daily News photographer Les Stewart.
"DeVaughn was like the most naturally gifted talent, he was such a good athlete, John he loved to dance, always new moves & Nick and Cody, they were my best friends," says fellow classmate & player Cole Proffitt.
"The thing that's really tough is these are four kids, beautiful kids, that were bright, young, 15, 16-year olds and you never know what the future would have held for them," Coach Williams says.
A prayer and candlelight vigil was held at a local church on Monday night for the entire community gather in grief.
"It could have easily happened to anybody's child, I thank the Lord it didn't happen to mine and I pray for the families," says Connie Reese, who has a daughter in the district.
"I thought it was something I needed to do to show the community, that's something special we need to be here for everybody," says Duane Bender, who lives in Manheim.
Police believe speed was a factor in the crash. The young men, driving in a silver Chevy Cobalt, slid across Mount Wilson Road and crashed into another car. The driver and passenger in that car, a black Mercedes Benz, suffered minor injuries.
Counseling services are being provided to students, staff & community members during regular school hours on Tuesday & Wednesday.
This is not the first time during the 2010-2011 school year that a Manheim central student died in a car crash. 18-year old Evan Heiser died in a crash in August. His car hit a home on Orchard Drive in Rapho Township, after flipping over. No one was inside the home, so the crash wasn't discovered until the next day by a neighbor.
Heiser would have been a Senior and was a football player as well.