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Old November 5th, 2007, 12:07 PM
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Default You're gonna hug your kids after reading this

4 of Kaitlyn's friends died Saturday night.....2 remain hospitalized. The LIVINGSTON PARISH — On a winding stretch of La. 16, three Denham Springs High School students and one recent graduate — close friends who loved the outdoors — died after their Dodge Ram left the road and struck a concrete culvert late Saturday.

The Livingston Parish Coroner’s Office pronounced Brandon Pirie, Trey Robertson, and Matthew Logan Millet dead at the scene. Acadian Ambulance took Aaron Harris to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, where he was pronounced dead. All four were 18.

Two other passengers, Nick Parker and Aaron Milling, both 17 and students at the school, remained hospitalized Sunday. The crash occurred at about 11:55 p.m. Saturday on La. 16 south of La. 1033, State Police said.

Brandon Pirie would refer to his friends as “his circle,? his stepfather Joe Harrell recalled Sunday. When making plans, he would say “I’ve gotta go talk to my circle,? Harrell said.

The 18-year-old’s grandfather ran the Pirie Dairy off 4-H Club Road for decades, and Brandon would go there as a child to milk and feed the cows, his aunt, Betty Jo Pirie, remembered.

“He was just a good kid,? she said. “You could call him up and say ‘I need you to come do something,’ and he’d be right there to help you.?

As chief deputy coroner, Harrell has worked a lot of fatal wrecks, including Saturday’s.

“For 30 years you put other parents’ children in body bags and send them home. And your heart goes out to them. But you don’t ever know what it’s like until it’s one of yours,? he said.

Before the fatal crash, Pirie, who was driving the Dodge Ram westbound on La. 16, hit a Dodge Dakota, State Police Trooper Johnnie Brown said Sunday. The Dakota pulled to the side of the road, but the Dodge Ram sped off without stopping.

The Dakota then began following the Ram, which later left the road to the right after missing a sharp curve, hitting the culvert and a utility pole, Brown said.

The driver of the Dakota, whose name was not released, was not ticketed, Brown said.

Toxicology results are pending, but State Police and family members said they suspect alcohol played a role in the crash. The teenagers were not wearing seatbelts, Brown said.

Justin McChristian, Robertson’s baseball coach for more than 10 years, stressed that the four should not be defined by the way they died.

“They were good kids who liked to have a good time and sometimes that decision wasn’t a good one,? McChristian said.

The deaths shook the close-knit area on the south side of Denham Springs, bisected by country roads, such as La. 16.

“This whole community is going to be rocked for a while,? said Gary “Peanut? Paline, Harris’ uncle.

This sentiment was shared by many.

“This crew was a clan,? said Kurt Freeman, a friend of several of the families. “When it affects one, it affects all. This is a community tragedy.?

The boys were inseparable, family members and friends said Sunday, huddled in small groups at the families’ homes in the Denham Springs and Walker areas.

“They all called me mom, every one of them,? said Carla Harris, Aaron Harris’ mother.

The families hope to have a joint funeral for the four boys. Denham Springs High School Assistant Principal Lloyd deGeneres said grief counselors will be on hand this week for the school’s 1,300 students. About 370 students make up the senior class.

Harris’ relatives gathered in the kitchen of his ranch-style childhood home, reviewing pictures from his life — Aaron holding a baby alligator, Aaron standing next to his first deer.

His father, Clint Harris, who grew up playing softball with some of the other boys’ fathers, recalled that the four had gone dove hunting on his acreage earlier this year.

Carla Harris has always referred to her son as “my heart.?

“We were close — we talked about everything, there wasn’t anything we didn’t discuss,? she said.

Relatives spoke of a thoughtful, polite boy who “never met a stranger.?

The family has faced other tragedies recently, with Harris’ maternal grandmother passing away in June and his cousin, Cody Senez, dying in a car accident in May.

Jennifer Robertson said her son, Millet and Harris grew up on the same street and were inseparable.

“They never would have left each other,? she said. “I just think they all deserved to graduate high school and they just won’t get to.?

All four boys were defined by their love of fishing, hunting and the outdoors, friends and relatives said.

“They were country boys through and through, that’s all they were about. Hunting, fishing, they lived by that,? said Trey’s cousin Emily Forbes, 20.

Dana Emerson, one of the Robertson’s neighbors, recalled when she found a large water moccasin in an elderly neighbor’s yard.

She immediately called Robertson, who came over and took care of the snake.

“He was my hero for the day,? Emerson said. “He was always there for you.?

“It’s going to be empty here without him,? Jennifer Robertson said of her Walker home where the family recently moved.

Military posters and memorabilia filled Logan Millet’s bedroom in his Denham Springs home.

“He studied military history all the way back to Genghis Khan,? his brother Michael Millet, 22, said.

Joining the military had been Logan’s lifelong dream, his brother said, and he was scheduled to leave for U.S. Marine Corps boot camp in March.

Although Logan Millet graduated from high school in May, he chose March for his departure because he wanted to spend time with his best friends before they graduated, Michael Millet said.

“He lived one day at a time and every minute of it,? Todd Millet said of his youngest son. “He didn’t waste any time.?

Two juniors at the high school, 16-year-olds Dora Abbott and Allison Neal, visited the crash site Sunday afternoon.

“They were like my big brothers,? Abbott said. “Now half of our group is gone, and they’re never coming back.?

A fellow senior and close friend of the victims, Cory Torres was also at the scene Sunday.

“I came out to see the site, to see what it was like. It kind of made it worse,? Torres said.
If you are going to walk on thin ice, you may as well dance!
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Old November 5th, 2007, 01:49 PM
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Location: Caribou River, Nova Scotia
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Another driving-related tragedy happened Halloween day here just off the island of Montreal. On his 18th birthday, a young driver, with NO license, only a learner's permit, and driving illegally without a licensed adult, lost control of his car while speeding on a residential street. The car left the road, climbed the curb, went through a fence, and struck and killed a 3 yr old girl who was playing on the lawn, helping her home daycare provider put up Halloween decorations.
Please, no matter how old you are, if you drive, SLOW DOWN and BE CAREFUL!! We don't need any more senseless tragedies.

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Old November 5th, 2007, 05:43 PM
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It is SAD!

Unfortunately many young adults think they know what's necessary to be an adult, and end up making these sorts of bad decisions. And sadly most of them are good kids too. It's a tragedy for the parents, the community, and all of us.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 07:55 AM
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The parents have decided on a joint service at the largest church in our little town. The wake will be tonight with the funeral tomorrow. This is definitely a sad day here.

If you are going to walk on thin ice, you may as well dance!
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2007, brandon, clint, dairy, degeneres, denham, harris, la, lloyd, louisiana, november, pirie, posters, springs, wreck

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