PICKENS, S.C. (WSPA) – A high school student in Pickens County died after a crash Wednesday morning along Pope Field Road near Easley.
The crash, involving two vehicles, happened shortly after 11 a.m.
According to South Carolina Highway Patrol, a Jeep was attempting to pass an SUV on Pope Field Road when it hit the front left of the SUV, ran off the right side of the road, and struck a tree.
Troopers said the driver of the Jeep was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the vehicle.
The coroner identified the victim as Jordan Deonte Jenkins, 16, of Easley.
“I was working and as soon as I go on my lunch break, my other cousin Jalen called me and that’s how I got the news. And ever since then, I just haven’t been the same,” said Shaimaine Jamison, Jenkins’ cousin.
“We had a close relationship. Like we talked every day. Just like he was my brother,” Jamison said. “I had talked to him the night before. And we was talking about football, how we supposed to train and how much good he was going to be this year, because this year was his year. And it just happens so fast,” he said.
The School District of Pickens County said a junior at Easley High School died in the crash.
“We are deeply saddened by this loss,” said Superintendent Dr. Danny Merck. “Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt condolences are with the family and friends at this time.”
Some in the community are left crippled by the tragedy.
“It’s a hard loss anytime, but this one hits really hard. He was involved in our school and in our athletic program and you know the kids are gonna suffer,” said Melanie Crews, Parent of Jenkins’ friend.
The School District of Pickens County said Jenkins was a rising junior, and was leaving football practice before the crash. Crews’ son was on the track team with Jenkins.
“Jordan was a great kid. Anytime you’re around Jordan there’s a lot of laughter to be found. The boys are a pretty close-knit group, and our athletic staff and family and our school, real close community. So this has shaken all of us obviously,” Crews said.
Jamison said although they competed in sports, they shared a close bond.
“He meant a lot to me. He was a sweet person. Caring person. Loved one another. Never really disrespectful to one another. Always there for you,” Jamison said.
As family and friends come to grips with this loss, they’re asking for one thing.
“Send out prayers, please. That’s the only thing I can really ask for is prayers. And pray that everything gets better day by day,” Jamison said.
Counselors was at Easley High School throughout the afternoon of Wednesday, June 9 and on Thursday, June 10 to support students and staff.
Highway Patrol said four juveniles in the SUV were all wearing seatbelts and were not hurt in the crash.
Easley Football will have a candlelight vigil in memory of Jordan Friday at 7 p.m. It will be held at Bill Carr Stadium. Getty’s Middle will also have stadium lights on (old Easley High) in memory/honor of Jordan as the families drive too and from the vigil.