BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Hundreds of candles illuminated the football field behind Hanahan High School Tuesday night. The Hanahan community showed up to support two brothers killed while they were heading to church last Sunday morning by planning a candlelight vigil.
19-year-old Matthew Richardson and his brother 17-year-old Kelvin Richardson both died at the scene on Cainhoy Road in Huger as they headed to church to lead worship.
"It's hard to believe... hard to imagine that their gone," said Cynthia Shaw, who is Matthew and Kelvin's cousin. "But we know that the Lord is going to give us the strength that we need to make it through."
Shaw along with the rest of the Richardson family, their friends and students and teachers of Hanahan High School filled the the dark track and football field with light.
"We can see the love," said Shaw. "We can feel your love and we can feel your embrace."
Kelvin was a junior at Hanahan High School, class of 2014. According to one of the track coaches, he had been on the team since 7th grade. His brother Matthew played on the football team and was a talented piano player and musician.
On Monday, the teens grandfather, David Richardson said "it really hurts," as he choked back tears.
"I tried to train them in a way that we came up, you have to work for a living to have what you want. I'm so proud of them," Richardson said.
Something that made their grandfather the most proud he says is the young men lived a life for the Lord. Matthew played keyboard and Kelvin played drums on the praise and worship team at Stewart Chapel United Methodist Church in Huger. He says the accident reaffirms the family's faith.
"He is real. God is real. If you trust him, don't doubt him, he'll bring us through and I know he will," he said.
According to a school district spokesperson, Matthew was a 2011 graduate of HHS. Amy Kovach describes the young men as highly respected and popular with their peers. She says grief counselors are at the school working with students following this tragedy.
"On behalf of the district, I offer my deepest condolences to the Richardson family," expressed Berkeley County School District Superintendent Dr. Rodney Thompson. "During this time of indescribable loss and tragedy, our thoughts and prayers are with the young men's loved ones and the entire Hanahan community."
According to an obituary by Smith McNeal Funeral Home, the brothers are the sons of Rev. Tony and Mrs. Karen Richardson; grandsons of Mr. David and Rev. Victoria D. Richardson and Mr. Melvin and Vernell McCullough of Rock Hill, SC.; and brother of Mr. Tony Richardson Jr.
Matthew was the father of Lil Miss Mellody and engaged to marry Ms. Rikelia Poinsetta. He was employed with Sweet Bay, a nursery and produce farm in Huger.
According to state troopers, a jeep was traveling on Cainhoy Road when it ran off the right side of the road and hit a tree. According to officials the young men were not wearing seat belts.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating this accident.
The brothers' funeral will take place at Hanahan High School Saturday Nov. 24 at 11 a.m.