Lowndes students mourn friends, classmates - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lowndes students mourn friends, classmates

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

LOWNDES COUNTY, GA (WALB) – A tragic crash claimed the lives of two rising seniors. One of the teens died at the scene and the other died at the hospital Friday morning.

Troopers say Perry Chandler and Justin Neeley, both 17 were driving down Stewart Circle when they ran off the road, hit a culvert and flipped. Both teens were ejected from the Jeep Wrangler that was registered to Neeley's mother.

Betty Evans was inside her home close by and heard what she thought was a tree limb hit the ground. "I heard a young man calling for help and at first I could not see him then I could barely see him walking in a ditch over here and he was hollering for help."

It was Neeley who survived the crash and screamed for help.  "He had walked on up to my backyard at the bottom of my back steps. He was talking to me as I was talking to them," said Evans.

She told him she had 911 on the phone. She also called his mother.

"I knew there was another person because he kept saying where's Perry, I love him like a brother," said Evans.

He was taken to Shands Hospital in Gainesville were he died early Friday morning. Chandler was pronounced dead at the scene.

Students checked out of high school today to go to the crash site, trying to piece together what happened for themselves. 

"It is sad," said Evans.

They were not wearing seatbelts.

"You never know what's going to happen to you or somebody else," said Evans.

The men were both juniors at Lowndes High School. Students were too shaken up to talk to us on camera, but expressed how much they missed Chandler and Neeley.

A spokesperson for the school system says the entire Lowndes High family is deeply saddened by the loss of these students and they are reaching out to the families.

©2010 WALB News. All rights reserved.    

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