UPSHUR COUNTY (KYTX) - At Harmony High School in Upshur County, there is a wall full of smiling graduates. A frame for every graduating year since 1940.
But this year, the community is mourning after a car wreck Saturday killed 2016 graduate Bailee Russell and 2015 graduate Haley Johnson, and left two juniors in critical condition.
Russell, a cheerleader, had just graduated June 3 from Harmony High School. She is the daughter of Harmony ISD Athletic Director Tim Russell.
Harmony High School Principal Michael Alphin said Haley Johnson, Cameron Johnson, Alecia Allen and Miss Russell were close friends.
“They were involved in cheerleading and sports together,” he said. “Just every aspect of school ... they were best friends.”
Alphin said the girls were positive influences on campus.
“We’re just very proud of them,” he said. Alphin said many students have been visiting the girls in the hospital and showing their support to their families.
Miss Johnson played in last year’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes championship game.
Coach Robert Bardin, with the FCA, said he knew Miss Johnson from the game last year.
“(You could) just realize that she was an incredible young woman,” Bardin said.
He said she shined bright on and off the field, and still does.
“Look at the things people say about her, and (you) realize she is a young lady who influenced whoever she came in contact with,” he said.
Cameron Johnson and Miss Allen are still in critical but stable condition, according to a Facebook post Wednesday. Miss Johnson has had several surgeries and is off life support. However, Miss Allen is facing more surgeries and is still on life support. A gofundme page has been set up for donations.
Harmony ISD is open and available for grief counseling for the community.
The driver of the other vehicle also graduated from Harmony High School a few years ago and is also in the hospital.