Yesterday morning, students at Lindale High School heard of the deaths of Brandon and Patricia, an announcement made over the loud speaker. Tuesday afternoon, counselors and administrators were busy helping students cope.
16-year-old Brandon Cawthon and 15-year-old Patricia Peden died after the car Brandon was driving lost control and hit a tree Sunday afternoon. Brandon was a Junior and Patricia was a Sophomore.
"This is a principal's worst nightmare," said Principal Jamie Holder, "to lose a student, to lose any individual, but when you lose a student during the school year this is something that no administrator training program can prepare you for."
For many of the students, yesterday morning's announcement was their first word of the accident.
"The students who have been the most upset have been the ones who didn't find out until they got to school this morning," said Counselor Patsy Fisher. "There were several of those and several ones who were best friends with the people who died." "Our sophomore class has just had a particularly hard time," said Principal Holder. "This is their fourth classmate to lose in the last three years."
Principal Holder said Brandon and Patricia were two dedicated students. "They were good kids," he said. "They were very respectful to adults and teachers. They were your average students that came here everyday and they took care of their business."
The junior class will serve as honorary pallbearers for Brandon Cawthon's funeral. Plans are in the works for a special memorial honoring the memory of Patricia and Brandon.
Funeral services for Brandon Cawthon will be held today at at 2 p.m. at the Central Baptist Church in Lindale. Funeral services are for Patricia Peden will be held tomorrow at 3 o'clock in the afternoon at the Caudle-Rutledge Funeral Home in Lindale.