January 19, 2006
Thursday night’s ceremony was to remember several North Augusta neighbors, some lucky to be alive, some gone forever, all affected by the tragedies that have happened in a short period of time.
In late November, a man shot three people, killing Bill Powell at the Huddle House off Highway 25. Months later, the suspect is still on the loose and the reward for his capture is nearly $14,000. And just last week, a father was found dead alongside his two sons. It was determined that Terry Young killed his children and then shot himself, but not before leaving a videotaped message for his wife and the police. And this week there was another tragedy when two high school students were killed during a weekend car crash.
The deaths have shocked the small community of North Augusta and perhaps the pain is too great for some to handle on their own. As News 12 reports, their spirits are being lifted by family, friends and even strangers.
“I thought it’d help coming here and having prayer because that’s like the main way you can get help,” said Ryan Pressley, North Augusta High School student.
It started on a somber note, and it was a note that rang loud in the ears of a crowd mourning too many.
“I think it’s been a lot of tragedy in the last several months,” said Dee Glander, North Augusta resident.
Public safety officials in North Augusta have had few days off working case after case. Since September, eight lives have been lost including four murders in this riverfront community filled with families, schools, parks and churches.
“I always thought this was a quiet little southern town and very safe and very secure and now we put lights on when we leave the house,” Glander said.
During prayer and reflection, heads were bowed and eyes were closed. North Augusta began the school year with one death, and after a car accident last weekend that number jumped to three.
“It’s bee really dramatic and just hard, so hard to get through it all,” said Jessica Lambeck, North Augusta High School student.
“Coming here I just figured you know, you can’t go wrong coming to church and this is a prayer for the entire community,” Pressley said.
The tune of the ceremony, sorrowful and saddening. But the chorus line, or the end result, was anything but, with all these voices joining together as one.
“What we want to do is appropriate the presence of the spirit in the best ways we know how and invite them to listen and to linger and to learn what God is doing,” said Reverend Dr. Jimmy Adams, Grace Methodist United Church.