MCMINN COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — Family and friends in McMinn County continue to grapple with the tragedy that happened on May 17. Two McMinn County High School seniors died and two others were injured in a crash. The four friends were on their way to a friend’s house.
According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a Chevy Cavalier went off the right shoulder on County 750. The driver of that car who has been identified by his mother as 17-year-old Cameron Bohannon overcorrected and continued sideways in the southbound lane before being struck by a Toyota Tacoma.
Robert Hicks and Cameron Bohannon died. Jesse Shelton and Dakota Lauper were injured. According to THP, the driver of the other car wasn’t injured.
Once hit, Dakota Lauper went to help his friends according to his mother Brittany Lauper.
“He went to see which ones he could help and two had already gone.” Brittany Lauper said. “He went to help the one who he knew needed help.”
Angela Bohannon, Cameron’s mother, learned her son died at the hospital.
“I saw him, he asked if I was Cameron’s mom and he took a deep breath,” Angela Bohannon said. “He got what I called in their stance where they ready to break the news. I don’t really remember much after that.”
Angela Bohannon said her son was just days away from turning 18 and graduating high school
“He tried so hard as a kid that struggled in school,” Angela Bohannon said. “It was touch and go for a while, but he did it.”
“I’m thankful he is here but he has a lot to live with, I just started thinking of the other families,” added his mother.
Dakota Lauper has since been released from the hospital, however, his mother said her son’s biggest obstacle is one people can’t see.
“Physically he is still sore, but he’s moving around,” Britney Lauper said. “Mentally not so good.”
Though he lost two friends, Brittany Lauper said her son has gained something as well.
“He’s also gained amazing families. they’ve taken him in,” said Brittany Lauper.
Though grieving the loss of her son, Angela Bohannan is focused on helping other families.
“One day at a time, we’re just putting all of our focus right now on Jesse’s family, Robert’s family and Cody’s family,” Angela said. “That’s also our way of getting through it because we know that’s what Cameron would want as well.”
Jesse Shelton remains in the hospital and has a long road to recovery. There is a GoFundMe to help his family with medical expenses.