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Devastation is the word used to describe the feeling of many community members after learning of the loss of three young siblings.
The trio and a passenger were leaving a convenience store in Atlanta, Texas, Tuesday afternoon on their way back from a family trip to Tennessee when their vehicle was broadsided by an 18-wheeler.
"It's just too close, kids aren't supposed to die before their teachers," said Judy LeUnes, former teacher.
"Knowing that you're not going to see them again it just hurts," said Seth Smith, friend.
From teachers to teammates, many people in the local community are devastated about three young lives that were suddenly lost in a fatal car accident Tuesday.
"There's so many people that will be touched by the loss," said LeUnes.
"For a lot of his teachers, this is the first that we have lost that we knew personally," said Dusti Csee, former teacher.
"None of us know how long we have," said Cindy Balmain, former teacher.
Siblings, 18-year-old Elizabeth Pickens, 14-year-old David Pickens, and 17-year-old Jonathan Demott were in Atlanta, Texas, on their way back from a family trip to Tennessee when the accident happened. Elizabeth and David were pronounced dead at the scene.
"This was a good, solid, strong, determined girl who just knew how to have self confidence and make friends," said Balmain.
"Football, everything, track, basketball he was just an all around outstanding man in athletics and the classroom. He was always really nice to his friends," said Smith.
Their stepbrother, Jonathan, was taken to Atlanta Memorial Hospital were he died hours later.
"He was my outstanding student. He was just one of those you'd love to have more of in class," said Csee.
Friends and teachers alike say these siblings had bright futures on the horizon, now they celebrate their lives.
"We celebrate the fact that we knew them, we enjoy the time we had with them, and we remember them in our hearts the best we can," said Csee.
The other person in the car, 19-year-old Katy Massey was released from an East Texas hospital Wednesday after being treated for minor injuries.
An account has been set up to help the family with funeral costs. For more information, contact the Navasota State Bank and reference account number 1105956.
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