Friends mourn 14-year-old killed in Mandarin car crash

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Police and paramedics were called to the scene near Mandarin Road and Mandarin Forest Drive before 5 a.m. Sunday, according to a release from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

According to JSO, the driver was headed north in the 12800 block of Mandarin Road at a high rate of speed, failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway, then crashed into a large oak tree.

The driver was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries. The front right passenger had minor injuries and was not transported to the hospital. The right rear passenger was transported to a local hospital with life threatening injuries.

14-year-old Garrett Schaub died at the scene, according to JSO.

JSO says speed and alcohol appear to be factors in the crash. The front right passenger was the only occupant wearing a seatbelt. All occupants of the vehicle were juveniles.

Sunday afternoon, friends of Garrett's gathered at a memorial in the spot where Garrett passed away. Several people laid flowers, cried and hugged each other at the scarred tree where the accident happened.

In solemn silence, they said goodbye to a friend in the very spot where he died hours earlier.

"I don't feel good. It's just a hard thing to deal with," said Randy Haynes, a good friend of Garrett's.

Haynes said they played football together.

"He was fun to be around. He knew how to make you laugh whenever you were feeling bad," he said.

Michael Carlson witnessed the immediate aftermath.

"There were three people in the car. One had just gotten out. He was unconscious," Carlson said. "The driver was in a lot of pain.

A father himself, he's coming to terms with what happened.

"To see kids here, in my front yard," he said. "To see (him) dieā€¦It's just a horrible tragic thing."

Haynes said Garrett recently finished at Mandarin Middle School and was going to start his freshman year at Mandarin High School.

Gianna Gunderson also knew Garrett "It's just very sad. I can only hope the best for his family. And just have to be there for all of our friends at Mandarin. We're all coming together to support him," she said.

"I just want to know what all happened. Why it happened," Haynes said.


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