MYFOXDETROIT -They were good kids with bright futures. A car crash ended their lives. Now, Kettering High School is mourning the loss of two of their classmates. It happened just hours after graduation.
Students gathered at Kettering on Wednesday afternoon. Some were signing a giant poster board that read, “We miss you. We love you. Rest in peace.” Heavy hearts from their homes to their school. Holding one another close, mourning the loss of two popular student athletes just 18 years old — Alex Farr and Derek Neal.
“A good kid, sweet, quiet,” said Tirana Gowens, Derek’s mother.
For Derek’s parents, Chawn and Tirana Gowens, the heartbreak is inexplicable. This is the second son they’ve lost to a car accident. His younger brother was killed by a hit and run driver eight years ago and would have turned 15 on Sunday.
Derek planned to attend summer school and graduate next semester. Instead, with Alex behind-the-wheel, their car crashed into the side of an abandoned church on Van Dyke near Harper on the city’s east side. Just blocks away from Kettering High School where all four kids in the car went to school. Just hours after Alex Farr had walked across the stage at graduation.
“It was just a wonderful day yesterday, was supposed to be,” said Fred Farr, Alex’s father. “This was not supposed to happen.”
Fred Farr wears his son’s tag from Kettering. Alex still had another year to finish the Allied Health Program where he was earning an associate’s degree, as well.
A shoe box full is filled with letters from colleges across the country interested in Alex’s football skills. He wanted to be an anesthesiologist or a doctor or maybe join the Air Force like his brother.
“So many youth at a young age are leaving here. So, ain’t nothing we can do but pray,” said Nathan Farr, Alex’s uncle.
The two other teens in the car are recovering in the hospital. One of them is in good condition and the other is in fair condition.