Braxton Nuon died in an early morning wreck. (Source: Facebook)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
An East Texas community gathered to remember a high school junior killed in an early morning wreck Sunday.
Officials said 17-year-old Braxton Nuon was driving his truck around 6:00 a.m. Sunday when he lost control on a turn on Bascom Road just north of Whitehouse. Officials said he was traveling at an unsafe speed for that turn when his truck flipped. Braxton was taken to a Tyler hospital where he died just before noon.
His friends gathered that afternoon and said they are spending this Sunday the way Braxton would have wanted. Sitting on the bed of a truck, laughing, and being together is exactly what this group of friends loves most, and they said, so did Braxton Nuon.
“Man, you know, he was definitely a big fan of hanging out with a bunch of friends and he was definitely one of those guys you couldn’t be mad at for a while,” Haden Stalling, who said he is one of Braxton’s best friends, said.
They were all together hanging out Saturday night.
“Pretty sure the last thing that I said to him was I love you, be careful, and then I left,” Colby Oldham, another friend, said.
Sunday morning when they all got together again, they had no idea their everyday gathering would turn in to a memorial.
“We were all sitting here in the living room and my friend Zach gave me a phone call saying that Braxton got in a wreck and he was in critical condition and about 30 minutes after that he called me again and he was crying on the phone and he told me that he was gone,” Colton Tate, another friend, explained.
It’s a phone call Tate has gotten before. Sunday the group was also together to celebrate a friend’s birthday—one who died a few months ago in a car wreck.
“About ten times worse knowing that those two dates are combined now,” Tate said.
Tears were little as rain fell, but words were many.
“One of the greatest friends you could ask for. Be there for you no matter what you did. No matter what kind of situation he was in or what you were in, he was always gonna be there for you,” Stallings said.
His sense of humor, they said, is what they’ll miss most. Braxton played football for a short time at Whitehouse High School and would have been going into his senior year.
“He loved to fish, he loved to hunt, and he loved to drive his truck most of all,” Stallings said. “He just drove that thing everywhere he could and even though he didn’t have much gas at all, he hardly ever had gas, but he managed to get it in somehow and drove it around.”
Despite their grief, they said they’re making sure to laugh, because all of this is exactly what Braxton would have wanted.
“He loved to drive his truck, more than anything in the world. That’s definitely what he loved to do,” said Oldham.
So, they said, it’s no surprise he was doing what he loved Sunday morning.
Friends said Braxton was heading home from another friend's house when the wreck happened.
Whitehouse Independent School District released a statement about Braxton's death on Monday:
"All of us at Whitehouse ISD are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Braxton," said Jay Northcutt, Whitehouse High School Agricultural Science and Technology Instructor. Northcutt described Braxton as happy, upbeat and always smiling. "He was friends with everyone and was a hard worker with a true talent for welding."
Northcutt taught Braxton for two years, most recently, in his Advanced Welding class. "He had a bright future in welding and always put his focus and heart into each project he worked on. He will be deeply missed."
There is no word yet on funeral or memorial arrangements, but Braxton's friends say they plan to make stickers to sell to raise money for his family. That money will help with funeral and memorial costs.
Monday, September 1 2014 2:00 AM EDT2014-09-01 06:00:48 GMT
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