“I Think It’s Heartbreaking Not Just To The Family But The Community” | Families And Georgia Community Mourn The Deaths Of Three Chattooga High Football Players

Family members and people from the community filled the football stadium at Chatooga High in Georgia on Monday night, as they collectively mourned the deaths of 14-year-old Tydraevius Dozier, 15-year-old Xavier Gray, and 16-year-old Zantivian Brown. The three football players, along with 54-year-old Otis Kennard Jr., were killed when Kennard Jr. lost control of the car, according to reports.

“I think it’s heartbreaking not just to the family but the community because they were some excellent, Xavier Gray was an excellent basketball player they were young kids at heart,” Chattooga County resident Hayley Studdard said.

It was a single-car crash on Georgia Highway 114 near Cook Road early Sunday morning, according to police. A fifth passenger, a girl, was said to be in the car as well and is at the hospital in critical condition.

Whenever there is death it has a ripple effect for those within proximity, particularly when young people die. The loss is often felt more palpably because of time being stolen or taken away.

“Lean on your friends, lean on your family, lean on your community we’re all in this together, we’re here for them. If they need anything, you just reach out,” Studdard added.
The victims’ teammates and fellow classmates are also trying to process this tragedy at a time in their lives where death, while understood, is likely tough to fully process. Often schools provide students with grief counselors and support services after tragic incidents. It’s unclear if the students of Chattooga High will be granted these services.
“Heartbroken is the only word that comes to mind as we have lost 3 of our own. Please pray for the families and friends. We are One Tribe,” a post by the Chattooga Indian Football Facebook account read.

Dylan Chaney, the father of Zantavian Brown, is at a loss trying to process what happened.

“I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m feeling right now,” said Chaney. “I saw it. I pulled up on it. It had already happened. I pretty much knew they were dead.”

GoFundMe accounts have been set up for each family. The Gray’s family GoFundMe and the GoFundMe for Brown and Dozier.

“TyDraevius Dozier “Drae” 14 y/o and Zantavian Brown “Duke” 16 y/o was involved in a horrific car accident on Sunday, October 30th, 2022,” Brown and Dozier’s page read.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we must share the unexpected passing of these two brothers Drae and Duke. Not only were the two; sons, brothers, nephews, grandsons but amazing friends to their peers. These two had passion for sports and video games in their short period of life.”

No additional details about the incident are available. The community is continuing to rally and support its members.

“I couldn’t imagine getting a phone call saying this happened to your kids,” Chattooga County resident Raven Ammons said. “It was very sad and horrible and I couldn’t imagine, if it was me – if it was me losing my kids, it’s just really sad and heartbreaking.”

Condolences to the family and friends of the victims.

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