Sweetwater teen dies on mission trip; Community shocked, kindness remembered

Local News

SWEETWATER, Tenn. (WATE) – New details reveal Sweetwater High School student and basketball player Callie Jordan died when a tree fell on the van she was riding in while on a mission trip to Mexico.

According to a Facebook post by the First Baptist Church of Jasper, Florida, Jordan was with her grandfather on the trip. The post says when their group stopped to get gas, a tree fell on their van. A few hours later, Friday night, the church posted the tragic news of Jordan’s death.

Previous story: Sweetwater teen killed in tragic accident in Mexico

Assistant principal, athletic director and head football coach for Sweetwater High, Mike Martin, said the news is both shocking and numbing.

“You hear these things. You hear it happen in Knoxville and Chattanooga, tragedies with students with car wrecks and things like that. Then you hear this she was on a mission trip in Mexico and it is one of your own. It is just devastating,” he said.

If you were to speak to someone who knew Callie Jordan, you’d likely hear about her kind spirit and bright smile. Jordan would have been a junior at Sweetwater High School next year and played on the girl’s basketball varsity team.

“She was a wonderful young lady and a wonderful student and a wonderful Christian young lady,” Martin said.

Help is coming from other schools, other school districts, countless family friends and churches. More than $27,000 has already been donated through a Gofundme set up over the weekend.

Martin said Jordan was a guard and because she’d recently transferred from another school, she had to wait until the next school year to play varsity.

“She was a good little player and you know the best was yet to come on that,” he added.

The children’s director for Fairview Baptist Tabernacle Church, Janean Watson, sent a statement on Callie’s passing saying:

“Callie was a beautiful young lady who loved the Lord and served him everyday. She attended the church from the time she was a young girl; she was very active in Children and Youth Ministry. She died telling the World about Jesus. Callie was caring towards other people and had a sweet spirit about her. It was a blessing to be part of her life. We love the Jordan family and request prayers for them. There are things that happen in life that we cannot even begin to understand why they happen but we can find great comfort in knowing that Callie is with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Please continue to prayer for the family, Callie’s friends, and our community.”

Heather Jaramillo, Callie Jordan’s basketball coach, also sent a statement:

“I was Callie’s basketball coach at SHS and had the privilege of coaching her for 1 year. Due to eligibility rules from transferring schools she was unable to dress varsity for the 2019 season but you would have never known it based on her performance in practice. She gave the team exactly what we needed. Someone to push them and bring a smiling face and positive attitude to the group dynamic.

Callie’s overall demeanor was infectious. She wore a smile on her face and had a helpful heart! All who knew her loved her. She was kind, smart and a joy to be around.

But what I admired most about Callie wasn’t her basketball skills and abilities which were great but her love for the Lord took the prize. She exemplified this love by how she walked her life.

What better way to leave this life than by serving God on a mission trip with the goals of leading others to Jesus Christ.

I am proud to have had the pleasure of coaching Callie. We believe Callie was fulfilling Gods purpose and living the life she was called to live, Spreading love through missions in her hometown and across the world.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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