In Loving Memory

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In Loving Memory

Henry Swint

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On July 22nd, a tragic event brought family, friends, and the Southridge community together to remember two young students who lost their lives in a fatal car accident.

On July 11th, Tyler Bracken was driving with his passenger EJ Santos through Molalla, Oregon while trying to overtake vehicles. When coming around the corner in the opposite lane, a Ford F-250 came at them and Bracken tried to steer out of the way but overcorrected. The truck crashed into the Bracken’s vehicle, which caused EJ to die on impact. Once first responders arrived, Bracken was airlifted to a hospital where he died two days later.

Bracken and Santos were both well-known students at Southridge High School. With the incoming Freshmen for the 2019-2020 school year, they will not understand who they were or why they were so significant in the Southridge community. Their dedication to football, the smiles they shared, and the Skyhawk spirit that they had in all things that they did.

 “Telling the story of who they were, where they came from, what they endured through high school” Senior Julia Takahashi said, “…just telling their story making sure it doesn’t die out and just speaking on how they were such great kids.”

The service gave an honorable tribute to Santos and Bracken. Not only were their memories preserved but also their football uniforms. Their #6 and #71 jerseys were framed and presented by fellow teammates in attendance as well as Coach Bickler.  

Principal Nieslanik shared his words of mourning and remembrance of the two fallen students. He referred to a poem by Linda Ellis called “The Dash” which emphasizes the importance of how you want to live your life, and what you will always be remembered for. Mr. Nieslanik expressed how their smiles lit up the halls of Southridge and that they always gave their best on and off the field.

“They both made me a better person and impacted me for the better and I’ll never not be thinking about them” Vanessa Parnell said. 

Community is a huge part of our unification at Southridge. Our community will always be forever bonded, and together, we will keep the memory of Santos and Bracken alive.