Osborn High mourns current, ex-students killed in crash

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Students at Osborn High School mourned Tuesday four young men killed in a weekend car crash as authorities identified three of the victims.

Those who died in the crash included Antoine Henley, 16; O-zavien Lamonte Riggs, 17, Cortez Chism, 17, and Walter Johnson, 24, according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Some Osborn students who filed out of school after dismissal Tuesday carried blue sheets of paper with funeral information that identified the fourth victim as Cortez Chism.

Senior Terri’ Ann Hall, 18, said she knew all of the teen victims.

“They were involved in athletics and everybody knew them,” she said. “We’re hurting because we were all close, like family.”

The four died after the driver of their vehicle, believed to be a Jeep Cherokee, lost control near Seven Mile and Stotter and struck a concrete post at 12:45 a.m. Sunday, said Detroit police, who cited high speed as a factor.

A fifth person in the vehicle remained hospitalized Tuesday in critical condition, according to police.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, Officer Shanelle Williams said. It wasn’t known if drugs or alcohol were factors.

All of those involved in the crash were current or former students at Osborn, and the loss is hitting the school hard.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Osborn community for this tragic loss,” Detroit Public Schools spokeswoman Chrystal Wilson said in a statement. “The district has provided access to grief counselors for the students at Osborn High School. We will continue to support the staff and students during this difficult time.”

Junior Jerome Green, 17, wore his sentiments on the front of his shirt as he left school Tuesday.

A white sheet of paper pinned to the shirt displayed color photos of three of the victims and the handwritten words: “Rest in Peace.” The nicknames above the photos included TJ (Riggs), Tez (Chism) and Block (Henley).

“I grew up with all of them — we all went to elementary school together,” he said, adding that he found out about the crash Monday while on a field trip. “I was crying on the way back because we had all had some good times together.”

He said he was especially close to Antoine.

“I talked to Block every morning on the phone before leaving for school,” he said. “I really miss his laughter.”

Parent Maxine Woods sat in her car waiting for her son, Kevontay Woods, 17, at dismissal.

“I didn’t know any of the victims, but it was heartbreaking for a parent to have to go through that,” she said. “My son doesn’t drive, but I always warn him not to get in cars with other teenagers because sometimes they like to speed.”


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