ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – South Carolina Highway Patrol said 16-year-old Jacob Landon Christian was driving on Highway 76 near Lafrance Road in Pendleton on Sunday around 2 a.m. when he crossed the center line and hit a utility pole.
Troopers said they think he fell asleep at the wheel, heading back from vacation on Lake Keowee.
The Anderson County Coroner’s Office said he died at the scene.
Lajuana Jones said Christian was in her 10th grade English class.
“I was just shocked. So young, so much to offer the world,” Jones said.
Jones said Christian was a shining light at T.L. Hanna, and going back to school without him around will be very difficult.
“He was a great person and always had something good to say about trying to improve himself,” Jones said. “He always wanted to do better, reach for better things and for the stars. He said ‘Next year Ms. Jones, I’m going to do better.'”
The principal at T.L Hanna, Walter Mayfield sent a statement saying, “It is the worst phone call I can receive as principal, informing me of a student’s death. It is so sad to see a young person with so much of his life in front of him have it cut short. The T. L. Hanna family is praying for Jacob’s entire family.”
Loved ones said the funeral is planned for later this week at the Cox Funeral Home in Belton.