Through tears of sorrow and pain, the Orangefield and the surrounding community mourns the loss of three young men. Grey Smith, Jacob Bates and Darrick Brantley, all juniors at Orangefield High School, died Sunday, Sept. 18 due to a car accident on Hwy 62 near Hoo Hoo Rd (south of FM 105).

At approximately 3:30 a.m., Smith, the driver of the four door Mazda, crossed the center line into the path of a Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by Clinton Lloyd of Orange. Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Judge Derry Dunn pronounced Smith and Bates dead at the scene and Brantley, who was riding in the backseat, was transported to St. Elizabeth’s in Beaumont where he later died.

Lloyd suffered from a broken leg and his three year old son, who was secured in his child’s safety seat, received a few minor bruises.

The initial cause of the accident is still unclear but it is still under investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Rumors have circulated that alcohol could have played a role, but Judge Dunn said there was no evidence of alcohol at the scene.

Neighboring school districts have sent counselors to Orangefield High School to help the students and staff with the grieving process.

A memorial service was held on Monday at the high school gymnasium. Friends and family gathered together to remember the lives of these three young men that were tragically cut short.

Funeral services for Smith will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at Community Church in Orange with Pastor Deamon Scapin, Pastor Michael Lynd and Pastor Kirk Ellender officiating.

Funeral services for Bates will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday at Community Church with the Rev. Dan Brack officiating. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens near Bridge City.

Funeral services for Brantley will be held at 3 p.m. on Wednesday at Memorial Funeral Home in Vidor, with burial to follow at Restlawn Memorial Park in Vidor.

About Nicole Gibbs

Editor of The Record Newspapers