A candlelight vigil was held this evening at the Dutchtown High School football stadium to remember a 16-year-old Henry County girl who was killed, and two other teens who were injured, in a Wednesday afternoon wreck.
In an emotional event, Alexis and John Poole, whose daughter Jasmine died in the crash, were presented a tribute from cheerleaders. Jasmine Poole had been cheering since she was 5 and was on the school’s squad.
Investigators believe several vehicles may have been racing or driving recklessly just prior to the wreck that happened in Stockbridge, less than two miles from Dutchtown High.
Jasmine Poole died at the scene. Senior D.Q. Green and another girl, who has not been named, were flown to Grady Memorial Hospital. The girl is in stable condition, Channel 2 Action News reported Wednesday, and Green was being treated for unspecified injuries.
Students gathered briefly this morning at the high school in to offer their thoughts and prayers for their classmates.
“To see him in the hospital like that is kind of hard,” Dutchtown High senior Winston Odom told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He’s on life support, but he’s getting well.”
The three students were traveling on Pates Creek Road in a Nissan Maxima at the time of the wreck, around 3:40 p.m., Lt. Jason Bolton with Henry County police said.
“The vehicle left the roadway, struck the ditch and ended up flipping over and came to rest in a yard on Pates Creek Road,” Bolton told The AJC. All three students inside the car were ejected, Bolton said.
Police said there was no evidence that drugs or alcohol was involved in the crash.
“Preliminary investigation indicates that speed (and) reckless driving contributed to the accident and the lack of safety restraints on any of the occupants,” Sgt. Joey Smith said.
Witnesses told police that has many as eight vehicles, including the Nissan, were driving recklessly and possibly racing just prior to the crash, Bolton said.
The wreck happened on Pates Creek Road in Stockbridge, less than two miles from Dutchtown High School.
“That part of the road is usually where students usually speed up because it’s open always,” Odom said. “To have something happen like that … I don’t think students will be doing that anymore.”
Dutchtown senior Phillip Scandret told The AJC that the incident, happening just weeks away from graduation, is sobering.
“It brings all of us closer together,” Scandrett said. “Nobody’s going to be arguing over petty things.
“It’s not over yet. They’re still in the hospital. As long as they get out, I’m pretty sure everybody can brighten their moves and we’ll just pray for the family of Jasmine.”
A spokesman for Henry County schools said grief counselors would be at the high school today.
The student-organized vigil was held at 8 p.m. at the Dutchtown High School football stadium.
Staff photojournalists John Spink and Curtis Compton contributed to this report.