Hundreds attend vigil for teen killed in car crash | News
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT)- An emotional vigil was held for a Richmond teen who died days before graduation in a horrific crash in Richmond's Southside.
More than one hundred people gathered to celebrate 18-year-old Antonio Shands Jr.'s life Thursday evening. He was pronounced dead at the crash scene last Friday. Police said the Chevrolet Malibu he was riding in ran a stop sign and was hit by a pick up truck at the intersection of Cherokee and Old Westham roads.
Shands' family and high school friends were visibly crushed because they lost a friend and good person, but they are determined to smile, despite the heartache, because that's what Shands did — he smiled a lot.
Friends and family are torn up over the sudden and unexpected death of a young man so close to marking an important milestone in his life.
"It's really hard knowing your friend is gone and he's suppose to be in school graduating with us," said Zavon Smith.
More than 100 of his friends and classmates from Huguenot High School wore t-shirts prominently displaying his smiling image. His smile, they said, gives them strength through a difficult time.
"We're doing it for him, watching us from above to let him know that we do love him. Rest in paradise," said Smith.
It was a remarkable turnout in Forest Hill Park for a phenomenal person who friends and family said touched everyone he met in positive ways.
They donned green and white and raised donations for the grieving family. The t-shirts keep his positive energy alive and remind them of what endeared people Shands.
"He was fun loving and he just touched everybody's heart. He was never like a mean-type person."
"He was a fun loving guy. A fun loving guy and I'm going to miss him dearly," said Shands Sr.
Shands planned to attend J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and the Navy Reserves.
The Richmond Police crash team is still investigating the accident that took his life.
Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.
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