Grief counselors were at Dekaney High School in Spring Thursday to help students deal with the deaths of two classmates, Quincy Williams, a senior, and Sarid Shahdaiah, a junior, who both played on the school's varsity football and track teams.
They were killed Wednesday afternoon along with their trainer, Larry Jessamy, when the car he was driving left the 1-45 northbound feeder road at high speed, rolled and then struck a concrete freeway pillar.
Freshman Tavaris Davenport said he was planning to workout with Shahdaiah Thursday morning, but says he and other students learned on the way to school his friend had been killed.
“I was crying a little bit and this morning we were all in the room, the sports room, and crying and talking... bringing back memories.” Davenport said.
The school issued a written statement Wednesday that didn't name the students.
"It is with profound sadness that we report that two Dekaney High School students died yesterday evening, Dec. 3, in the car accident at I-45 and Parramatta. We have reached out to the families of the students; counselors have been assigned to the campus to assist students and staff in dealing with this tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these students," the district announced in a released statement.
Jessamy grew up in Spring and played for the Spring High School football team in 1993 and 1994 before his family left Houston. Jessamy returned recently to work for Legends Sports Complex in the Woodlands. He and the teens may have been headed there when the accident happened.
Close friend Jason Stroud grew up with Jessamy and was helping him set up his sports training business. Stroud said as soon as he saw TV news video of the crash, he recognized his friend's car.
“He was someone that once you met him you realized he was a strong individual. He was well spoken. Educated. Just a genuine person. He wasn't fake. And he was the kind of person you would trust hour kids with at all times,” Stroud said.
Stroud said he helped investigators locate Jessamy's mother in Florida, and then checked by Jessamy's apartment to care for his dog, Mikita, an Alaskan husky. Mikita is now living with Stroud and his family.
According to investigators, Jessamy's white Chevy Camaro appeared to be speeding in the right lane of the feeder road, and swerved to avoid a van that had exited the freeway and was attempting to move into the right lane. The two vehicles collided, sending the car over the curb and into the freeway pillar.
Authorities said the lady driving the van stayed on the scene for a few minutes but left before deputies arrived. She was located early Thursday, but has not been charged or arrested according to sheriff's deputies.
Witness Jackie Whaley happened to be an off-duty first responder.
"I just heard a boom next to me and a bunch of debris next to me," Whaley said. "I thought maybe one of the trucks had fallen off the trailer that was hauling it."
Whaley told Local 2 that she pulled over to help.
"One of them I could see visibly had a pulse," Whaley said. "I started pumping on him but I lost the pulse."
"One of them had a letterman's jacket," Whaley said. "They were young. You just hate to see stuff like that with the holidays, and in general, but especially right now."
Sophia Becker, general manager of Legends Sports Complex said the company is working to set up three separate donation funds to collect contributions for the victims' funeral expenses and to provide support for Jessamy's young son, who lives with family in Florida.
“Our hearts are broken, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family,” Becker said Thursday.
Grief counselors at Dekaney High School after two schoolmates die in crash