HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — Hundreds of Henry County community members gathered Monday night to hold a vigil for the four Eagle's Landing High School students who died in a crash last week.
There were five people -- all students who attended Eagle's Landing High School -- inside a car when the single-vehicle collision occurred last Wednesday.
The crash killed 16-year-old Kenderrias Dodson, 15-year-old Katrina Owens and a 15-year-old girl named Jordan Brown, upon impact, according to officials. Two other students were hospitalized and in serious condition.
Kenderrias died that Friday. Officers said the fifth teen, who is 15 years old, is still in the hospital.
Among those community members in attendance at the vigil, was 9th grader Nya Wilkinson. She says she was good friends with Katrina Owens and knew Jordan Brown since middle school.
"To be honest, on Thursday and Friday I wasn’t together and I said I wasn’t going to come because I couldn’t keep myself together. Honestly, I’m really glad I came and I’m here to support and show my respect for them and show my love for everybody who died in that crash," Wilkinson said.
She says she was driving to softball practice Wednesday afternoon when she spotted a closed road, ambulances, and police cars.
"Usually when I see an ambulance I like to pray for them – it's just something I was taught to do. After practice, I heard there was a car crash but one plus two didn’t add up yet," she recalled. "I was in a group chat and they were talking about how there was a car crash with 9th graders in it."
8th grader Gabrielle Hardy sat next to Nya. Tears streamed down her face while remembering Katrina, too.
"I can’t believe that she’s gone still but I’m glad everybody’s out here to support everyone and show awareness," she said.
They tell 11Alive their school is big, but the students who died left an impact. Nya says Katrina helped her come out of her shell.
"The people who died are so outgoing that they just made friends so easily. It's hard for you not to hear them before or not to see their face – you’d see them everywhere all the time," she said.
During the vigil, school administrators, council members, staff, and students spoke at a podium. Family members sat towards the front, with the whole community behind them.
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Family members, including Kenderrias' uncle, Ben Sands, and many other community members call Kenderrias "KD".
"KD was spontaneous. He loved to do a lot – he played sports, he was very active and he just recently got into music," he said. "I used to rap – so I got him and my stepson a group together. They were going to do a mixtape for the summer and just come together. It was going to be nice."
Sands says KD's younger brother who is going into 6th grade is "taking it hard," but that the vigil Monday night helped bring everyone together.
"It’s been tough for the family as a whole," he said. "We just came together. Everybody comforted one another. Everybody spends the majority of the day together, trying to mend each other."
The school's baseball coach also shared some words about his experience over the past few days.
"The pain we're feeling is a pain of love," he said. "The tears I've shed since Wednesday night are immeasurable and I know I'm just one of us."
The crash continues to be under investigation.