3 recent TN high school grads killed in Alabama crash - WSMV Channel 4

3 recent TN high school grads killed in Alabama crash

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A small Middle Tennessee town is feeling a big loss after three young men, all childhood friends, died in a crash late Sunday night.

Jonah Bradley, Chad Swafford and Jeff Stewart were riding together when they were involved in a two-vehicle wreck in Hazel Green, AL.

A fourth man inside the car, Waylan Terpay, survived the wreck and was taken to a hospital in Huntsville, AL.

Now, their hometown is stunned and saddened.

"We wish it could all go away, but it can't," said Huntland resident June Arnold. "It's terrible. It's just life wasted.

At their Franklin County alma mater, Huntland School, three crosses now stand side-by-side, representing the young men whose lives were cut short by the tragic accident.

"Anytime you have a loss of one, let alone three - with a total of four former graduates in this tragic accident - it's been a very somber experience for everyone," said Huntland Principal Ken Bishop.

Police say speed may have been a factor in the wreck, and the woman who was driving the other car is still in critical condition.

"These were a group of great young men. They were great students while here. They were turning into great men and pursuing careers in several different areas," Bishop said.

Counselors, teachers and clergy stood by for grieving students, many of whom were sending messages to the boys' families.

"They actually began rolling out long rolls of paper and writing to the parents, and began writing to these students and letting them know exactly how they felt," Bishop said.

They are hoping to send a message that the small, tight-knit community is grieving with them.

Anyone wanting to make donations to help the families can do so at Huntland School. A candlelight vigil is planned for Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the football stadium.

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