COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Walterboro community will honor the lives of three Colleton County High School students who tragically died in a car crash Wednesday night.
Jashawn Tyrie Brown, 17, of Walterboro, Jakeem Quashon Pinckney, 18, of Smoaks and Tykeem Tyrone Johnson, 18, of Ruffin were pronounced dead at the accident scene along I-95 in Ridgeland.
A fourth occupant of the vehicle, O'Shay Tysheen Wiggins, 18, of Walterboro was also extricated from the vehicle and airlifted to Savannah Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
Thursday at 8 p.m. students from the high school and community will gather at Colleton County Middle School for a candlelight vigil.
"It's one of those teachable moments where everyone has to understand that life is precious and short," said Chris Collins, the head football coach and Athletic Director for the high school.
Collins was on his way to Savannah Regional Hospital when he was contacted by the media.
Fred Wiggins, O'Shay's father, said his son underwent surgery Thursday morning for his injuries.
"This morning the doctor said that his C7 is broken, his C6 is bruised, he has a bruised lung and bleeding on the brain," Wiggins said.
Wiggins said the family has not told O'Shay about his friends who died in the crash.
"We haven't told him," he said. "I'm sorry about everybody's loss, and I will get by to see them, but we'll let him know sometime."
Students in the Colleton County School District recall their encounters with O'Shay and say they're rooting for him to pull through his injuries.
"He was athletic," said Arkiz Colloway, a soon to be Freshman. "Always had a positive attitude."
"I hope you pull through this," said Emily Eavel, who graduated with the teens. "I know God's hands are on you and that you're going to pull through this."
"They were a tight knit group," Collins said about the group. "They were always together. They were pretty active kids."
Collins said Wiggins and Tykeem Johnson played football for him.
He added Jakeem Pinckney and Jashawn Brown were also involved in sports.
Wiggins, Johnson, and Pinckney all graduated Saturday, May 28 from high school.
"It's horrible," Wiggins said about the accident. "It's a phone call you don't want to get."
"I was really shocked," Eavel said. "They just graduated. They had their whole lives in front of them, and then it just ended so quickly. It just doesn't seem fair.
"Athletic program and our football team are in a state of shock right now," Collins added. "It's a tragic situation when you have four young men involved in a situation like that."
Ridgeland Police in Jasper County said the boys were coming back from a graduation.
"They were going to his friend's that they played travel football with and grew up together with," Wiggins said. "They all came out for his graduation."
Police state the teens were in a white Lexus IS350 that was involved in a single-vehicle collision on I-95 northbound after attempting to navigate the exit 22 off-rap in excess of 100 miles per hour Wednesday at 9:23 p.m.
The vehicle traveled off the roadway into a wooded area where it rolled several times, striking numerous trees before ultimately coming to a stop.
Johnson, Pinckney and Brown, a rising senior, were all pronounced dead at the scene.
"A lot of young people don't understand how easy it is to lose our lives," Collins said.
Eavel said she knew the boys, but not well.
"Just fun loving and would always joke in the classroom," Eavel said about Pinckney and Johnson.
Now the community will come together to support the family of these boys during this difficult time.
"I'm keeping them in our prayers and I pray for strength for these families that they come together and heal," said Audrey Salley-Henderson, whose cousin's were friends with the four young men.