HASTINGS, Fla. -- A Pedro Menendez High School senior died Wednesday after a tractor overturned on a dirt road along Cowpen Branch Road in Hastings, according to St. Johns County Fire Rescue.
Jerad Revels, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders, said Matthew Sara, public information officer with the SJCFR.
Three pieces of farm equipment were moving along a dirt road next to an irrigation ditch, when one of the tractors lost control, ejecting Revels into the ditch where he was crushed by the tractor, which fell on top of him, said Sara.
No information has been released on what caused the Revels to lose control.
Rebekah Barnes is a family friend. She said Jerad "was an amazing person. Everyone who knew him loved him. You can tell by how many people have come out to the house."
A home just down the road from the accident scene was full of cars and people who were mourning Revels' sudden death.
"He loved to hunt and hang out with friends," Barnes recalled.
Revels was working in the fields before school.
Dr. Clay Carmichael is the principal at Pedro Menendez High School. This is the second student from the school to die in less than a week.
Ryan Scott Ford, 19, was caught Friday in the middle of several fights that
started in the woods
at the 14500 block of Old St. Augustine Road in Jacksonville.
Carmichael said the school had grief counselors available to students.
He described Revels as "fun! He was so much fun that one time he tried to pay off his parking pass with a crate of tomatoes! I hope students remember him that way."
Carmichael appeared to hold back tears talking about Revels. "It was a rough day today. The students remembered the fun times with Jerad, but they grieved a lot too."
The school plans to hold a memorial service at the school Friday so students can attend.
The accident has shaken Hastings, a small town of about 600 people. It's mostly agricultural, known as the Potato Capital of Florida. Friends say Revels was working on a potato field Wednesday morning before school.
Dough Gergela works at a research farm down the road. He said it's common for teenagers to work on the farm before attending school in the morning.
Barnes said Revels "was dedicated to his family and to their farm. It's just a tragedy ... just a tragedy."
First Coast News