Saluda community celebrates lives of two teens killed in car crash

Saluda community celebrates lives of two teens killed in car crash

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Two teenagers are now in their final resting spot. Friends, family, and classmates came together at Saluda High School Saturday to remember 17-year-old Drayton Black and 16-year-old Jaden Coleman.

The parking lot of the school was packed and the Saluda County Sheriff’s Department was there to direct traffic.

Drayton Black’s family asked for privacy from the press during his funeral at 11. Jaden Coleman’s service was at 2 p.m.

The two teens died in a crash the night of January 27th on Long Road off of U.S. 378, according to South Carolina Highway Patrol. The car hit a tree. Kadius Coleman, Jaden’s brother, was the lone survivor. He suffered serious injuries in the crash, but in a wheelchair, he was at the funeral Saturday.

Folks from near and far made it a point to be at the services.

"I had to come show my face, show my respect because Jaden and Drayton, they both are my homies," Saluda sophomore Jedarius Stevens said.

Stevens says classmates have really been leaning on one another during this time.

"The first day, no one really wanted to speak, they set counselors at our school, and it brought people closer together after that first day," he said.

Auvia Holland says she lost her best friend.

"It was a tragic loss we had this past week. He was my best friend, and it just breaks my heart that he had to lose his life like this," she said.

She says when she first heard the news, she was devastated.

“It was just heartbreaking, but I came to school and I cried in my friend’s arms. It was just tragic for me. He was loving and caring, all he wanted to do was see me happy,” Holland said.

Monet Quattlebaum says her son, a senior at Saluda High School, had just been with Jaden and Drayton the day of the crash.

"My heart goes out to them, my son had just been with them that day, got out of the car, and I was just thankful that he was at home, but my heart goes out to them because I hate this," Quattlebaum said.

She says this is a time for those mourning to help each other.

"We need to get together. We need to pray. We need to come out together as one, not separated and divided even though it was a white family and a black family," she said.

"They not going to be forgotten,” Stevens said.

Burials took place at Saluda cemeteries after both funerals. Black’s final resting place is Shiloh United Methodist Church Cemetery. Coleman’s final resting place is Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.

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