Camden County High School students grieving after fatal crash

Posted at 6:16 PM, Nov 05, 2012

Students at Camden County High School are grieving after a weekend car crash that claimed the lives of two of their classmates and left two others injured.

Teens gathered Monday at the scene of the crash on U.S. 158, a few miles from the school.

“This has affected everybody in the community, everybody, and it's really sad,” said one teen, trying to hold back tears.

She and others gathered to grieve and to collect some of their friends' belongings, thrown into the woods from the force of the crash.

“I wasn't going to leave Denzel's shoes in the water, so we came out to get them.  We're going to take one to the school and one to his parents,” said another teen.

According to Trooper Logsdon with the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Denzel Hicks, 18, and Jeremy McPherson, 16, were killed in the accident.

McPherson's older brother, Steven McPherson, 17, and the driver, Demetre Brooks, 18, were taken to the hospital.  Both are expected to recover.

According to Logsdon, Brooks was driving west on U.S. 158 when he lost control, veered into the other lane and crashed into a Suburban.  The trooper says Brooks was not speeding and had not been drinking.

Three of the teens were thrown from the car.  According to Logsdon, Brooks was the only one wearing a seatbelt.

Logsdon said the family that was in the Suburban was not seriously hurt.

All four of the teens attended Camden County High School, a small school with only 450 students.

According to Principal Billie Berry, Jeremy McPherson was on the football team, playing in the their final game of the season Friday.

“He was a kid who had a smile that could light up a room,” said Berry.

Hicks was part of the Coast Guard Junior Leadership Program.

"Denzel was well liked and a respectful young man, and he will certainly be missed not only by the leadership program, but all of our students,” said Berry.

Grief counselors were at the school Monday and the principal says they've received a lot of support from the community.

“At the end of the day, Camden is a family.  We are a family.  We come together when somebody needs something,” said one student.