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Discussion Starter #1
but make sure you & your kids wear a helmet.

I know both the operator & his parents. They live just a trail though the woods away. And the girl’s parents have been a Christmas Tree customer of mine for many years.

Please remember them in your prayers


Girl dies in ATV accident
Monday, November 12, 2007

The JacksonCounty community has lost two of its youngest members in traffic crashes over the past few days, the latest taking the life of a 12-year-old Sneads girl.
Jamie Messer died Sunday from the injuries she received in an ATV accident just over the county line in Calhoun County Saturday afternoon.
According to Florida Highway Patrol reports, Messer was a passenger on a 2007 Honda ATV being driven by 15-year-old Jeremy Leigh.
According to reports, the ATV was eastbound on County Road 286 when Leigh slowed suddenly for a slower-moving ATV, lost control and applied the brake.
Her ATV flipped over, ejecting Leigh and Messer.
Leigh, also of Sneads, was listed as having sustained serious injuries.
Students at GrandRidgeMiddle School on Monday filled a wall in their school with pictures and other remembrances of their fallen seventh-grade schoolmate.
In many ways, Jamie Messer was like any other happy, healthy 12-year-old.
She was a bundle of energy, for instance, and always had a smile on her face, said Mary Walker.
Walker taught Messer in the fifth-grade at SneadsElementary School, and the two had another connection beyond the classroom.
Walker is married to the Rev. William Walker, who pastors Messer's home church of the past several years.
As the pastor's wife at ShadyGrovePentecostalHolinessChurch, Mrs. Walker knew the girl well.
She had already gained a reputation as a compassionate child who cared deeply for others, said Walker and several other adults in the youngster's life.
"I don't know of any child that she didn't like, and they all loved her," Walker said. "She had a big heart, and was always concerned about those who were less fortunate. She loved life, and she loved people."
Walker said Messer was always enthusiastic in the school's Christmas outreach to senior citizens.
"At Christmas, we took things to nursing homes, and she always made sure she got a name, always picked out someone that she wanted to reach out to," Walker said.
At church, Messer worked in the nursery watching the youngest children while their parents were attending services.
"Lots of times, it's not always the best idea to have kids her age in the nursery, because they can be more disruptive than you'd like," Walker said. "But she and her older sister, Ellie, were both always so helpful. She loved the little ones."
Messer had a lot of interests ? riding horses, swimming, playing softball, competing in beauty pageants, hunting and fishing. She also liked to cook simple things for church events, Walker said, and always volunteered to bake a batch of cookies or brownies.
At the middle school, she was learning to play the trumpet "and doing fantastic at it," according to band teacher Sharon Williams, who said the band will recognize Messer in some way at their winter concert at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 7.
Because the children were so upset by the tragedy Monday morning, a planned Veteran's Day performance had to be cancelled, school principal Beth Westmoreland said.
"She was a happy young lady who enjoyed school and her friends," Westmoreland said. "She was smart and warm, and everybody seemed to like her so much."
Although a few of the kids left school on learning of Messer's death, most stayed for the day "because they seem to do better if they stay together," Westmoreland said.
Throughout the day, band members and other students found their way to the wall and added notes, pictures, and drawings as a way of mourning and honoring their friend.
Messer's family will be giving her school mates a place of honor at her funeral or graveside service Wednesday, Westmoreland said.
Cheryl McDaniel, Sneads Elementary principal, said she remembers Messer well, despite the fact that many children have come and gone at her school since the youngster finished there.
"She had a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face, always. She had a sweet spirit, and now I know where she got her compassion," McDaniel said. "I went to visit her mom today, and she was more concerned about how the other kids were doing than she was about herself. I think it is incredible to have that strength, in her grief, to worry about others. I said to myself then, 'That's where (Jamie) gets it.'
Messer is the daughter of Nora Sue Whittington and Sneads City Council member Ricky Whittington.
Science teacher Catherine Stone recalls the last time she saw the girl and her dad together.
"I had given them an at-home assignment to build a bridge out of toothpicks. The parents were invited to help build and design them, and come watch when we broke the bridges to test their strength," Stone said. The assignment was a competition where points were awarded for the efficiency and strength of the bridge, she explained, and they had to be broken with weights to test those elements.
Mr. Whittington came to watch that test, she said, and his daughter won the competition handily.
"I feel like they probably worked on the bridge together, although we never talked specifically about it, and he was there for the test and it was nice to see him there," Stone said. "I feel that the project was probably one of their memories together."
In a separate Saturday crash, a 20-year-old Marianna man, Justin Spivey Burch, was killed when he lost control of the vehicle he was driving on Leland Road.
On Friday, JacksonCounty teenager Janai B. Mills, 17, was seriously injured in a traffic crash on State Road 73. Her father, Lloyd Mills, said Monday that his daughter is now out of life-threatening danger but faces a long road of recovery.
She had surgery on Sunday at the University of Alabama teaching hospital in Birmingham to mend together her crushed pelvis. She was alert and talking Monday afternoon, he said, and will have a long period of physical therapy and rehabilitation ahead.


226 Posts
Having a 13 year old daughter in my house I can really understand the grief these folks are facing, and it won't be long till my 15 year old son is out on the road on his own, that I must admit really scares me. We have lost a child who would soon be 21 years old, that is a loss you NEVER recover from. There will never be a day that something they see doesn't remind them of their child. I will put these families in my prayers, and pray that God will touch them in only a way he has the power to do.

Premium Member
1,429 Posts
I feel for anyone that looses a child, or parent for that mater.

They will be in our prayers.

477 Posts
That is very sad. Having raised my 2 boys since they were 1 and 3 (they are now 16 and 19), my heart aches everytime I hear story like that. Like Danny said, that is something you never fully recover from. My prayers go out to the family.:(
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