Students say goodbye to three classmates in Manning - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Students say goodbye to three classmates in Manning

By Logan Smith - bio | email

MANNING, SC (WIS) - Classes were canceled at Laurence Manning Academy on Thursday as family, students and teachers said goodbye to 15-year-old Cody Hall and brothers Jessi and Cody Parnell. The three were killed in a car crash early Sunday morning just outside Manning.

The football field, gymnasium and parking lots at Laurence Manning Academy were full, but it was a time for grieving instead of learning. Many gathered at the school to mourn three of their own who died over the weekend when their car ran off the road and hit a tree.

Pastor and family friend Ervin Davis said the community began coming together almost immediately after Sunday's tragic accident. "I was so moved because the parking lot was already full with people that had heard about it and came to share and minister to this family," said Davis.

The Laurence Manning family got a lot bigger this week as schools that are usually rivals set aside their differences and joined the community in grief and remembrance. "That floored me because I realized how people come together regardless of race, religion or whatever there is to separate us, the community like Manning, South Carolina, and that is the wonderful thing I experienced," said Davis.

Students will return to class on Friday, but without three of their classmates. The school has also planned a short memorial for all three students before tomorrow's football game against Hammond School.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved.

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