Teens die in weekend crash

Published 12:14 pm Wednesday, April 7, 2004

By By ANNA M. LEE Managing Editor
Two local teenagers were killed in a traffic accident on Florida Hwy. 87 Saturday night.
Chason Shavar Godbolt, 17, and Reshena R. Young, 17, were traveling south when they collided with a northbound vehicle occupied by Deborah Reid Bush, 53, and R.J. Bush Jr., 58, at about 10 p.m. Neither youth was wearing a seat belt, according to a report provided by the Florida Highway Patrol.
Deborah and R.J. Bush, both of Brewton, were transported by Life Flight to West Florida Hospital in Pensacola where Deborah was pronounced in stable condition.
At press time, R.J. Bush Jr., who was also unbelted during the accident, was in critical condition in the intensive care unit at West Florida.
Godbolt and Young, both seniors at W.S. Neal High School, had attended the prom Saturday night and were attempting to pass a vehicle in a no-passing zone when the accident occurred, according to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol.
Administrators at W.S. Neal High School gathered students first thing Monday morning for grief counseling with guidance counselors from several area schools, local clergy and teachers.
Neal principal Phillip Ellis shared with the students Saturday night's prom video and dedicated the video to Godbolt's and Young's memory.
School administrators and students are taking steps to manage their grief and honor the memory of their lost friends. Each class has begun to raise money for flowers, and the school has posted a banner in the hallway where students can write messages.
Ellis said that in his 32 years of being involved with Neal's prom, there has never before been a tragedy of this kind.
Last week, in preparation for prom, W.S. Neal held its Prom Promise, a program with local law enforcement and rescue workers that warns students against the danger of drunk driving. However, no alcohol was involved in Saturday's accident.
Services for Godbolt and Young will be Friday at 1 p.m. at W.S. Neal High School Auditorium.

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