REPUBLIC, Mo. -- This community spent Tuesday dealing with tragedy. A one-vehicle accident on Monday evening killed one teen and left another in critical condition. The driver, Garrett Blotter, 16, died in the crash, while Desmond Roy, 16, is in a hospital in Springfield.
The Republic High School principal says it was a long, rough day, with many students leaving school throughout the day, but the school did what they could to help kids cope. Messages full of memories, love and loss covered banners on the walls of the school, as students and staff grieved.
“He’s one of those kids, when you have a son, you hope he grows up to be that kid; just a great student, honor student, football player, track athlete, just a really genuinely good kid,” said Principal Darin Harris.
Thoughts and prayers are also with Desmond.
The crash was on Miller Road at about 7:30 Monday night when the car, with Garrett driving, crested a hill, Garrett lost control and the car ran off the road, striking a tree.
“As you can imagine, any of these farm roads or areas that have the hills are narrow. It’s dark out, and if somebody’s overdriving their ability, that’s why they call them accidents,” said Republic Police Chief Mark Lowe.
In the daylight, remnants of the crash remained.
As Republic students faced the harsh reality, counselors from across the school district converged at the high school.
“Students gathered in the gym this morning, about 100, 125 of them, and had a little moment of silence, and we had counselors moving through that crowd. And we just tried to make sure that we were taking care of kids emotionally, by providing a space up here in one of our open classrooms in the building,” said Harris.
As they hope for one friend’s recovery, and say goodbye to another, Harris hopes they’ll continue to reach out to one another.
“Support networks, any time you have a tragedy, are really important,” the principal said.
A whole support network of family and friends for both boys will gather Tuesday night at 8 at J.R. Martin Park for a candlelight vigil. Also, a memorial fund for Garrett and a benefit account for Desmond’s medical expenses have been set up at the Mid-Missouri Bank in Republic.