Navasota

Navasota High mourns teens' deaths

Updated

Navasota High mourns teens' deaths

By CRAIG KAPITAN

Eagle Staff Writer

Eagle photo/Patric Schneider

Manita Wesley (left) and Carriesha Williams write messages on Cody Joswiak’s locker Monday afternoon at Navasota High School. Cody and Shaylyn Nobles were killed in a car wreck in Houston over the weekend.

A team of more than a dozen counselors set up headquarters Monday in the library of Navasota High School as students returned to school after the weekend deaths of two classmates.

Millican resident Cody Joswiak, 16, and Navasota resident Shaylyn Nobles, 15, were traveling with friends and Nobles’ father along a Houston freeway early Saturday morning when their stopped vehicle was rear-ended by a car estimated to be traveling at 80 to 90 mph.

The two, who were seated in the back of the car, were killed instantly in the collision. Two other teenage passengers and Nobles’ father were not seriously injured.

“It’s been a long, hard day so far,” said Navasota High School Principal David Young, explaining that he started the morning with a school-wide announcement over the public address system and a moment of silence.

Young and counselors then printed out Nobles’ and Joswiak’s class schedules and met with their classmates at the beginning of each period, answering questions and speaking with them about the grieving process.

In all, about 10 counselors from Bryan High School, other Navasota schools and from the community joined the school’s existing staff of three counselors. Students feeling overcome with emotion were told they could meet with the counselors throughout the day in the school’s library.

Many students were able to find a constructive outlet for their grief by writing letters to the Nobles and Joswiak families, Young said.

They also wrote messages to the two on large sheets of paper taped to their school lockers. “We love you Cody,” one student wrote on the paper attached to Joswiak’s locker, which also contained a picture of a four-wheeler and a photo of him.

“This locker will 4ever be Cody’s,” another student wrote on the locker itself.

Members of the Navasota High School marching band held a makeshift vigil of sorts for Nobles, who played the bass drum, as they began their after-school practice. Students put arms around each other, some sniffling, as they formed a circle around band director Paul Bramlett.

Sitting on the drum major’s podium, Bramlett told anecdotes about Nobles and said their classmates are now in a better place.

“All day long, as we’ve been in these classrooms, I’ve seen that these are kids who’ve truly made an impact on the people they saw on a daily basis,” Young said. “They’ve touched the lives of people here at Navasota High School, and they will be sorely missed.”

The group was headed to Galveston, where they intended to spend a weekend at the beach. The wreck happened about 12:40 a.m. Saturday when a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix slammed into the back of their vehicle on Interstate 610. The group’s car was at a complete stop on the freeway because of construction, according to officers with the Houston Police Department.

Houston authorities still were on the lookout Monday afternoon for the driver of the Pontiac, who was reported to have fled the scene on foot after the wreck.

A funeral service for Joswiak will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Navasota. Visitation took place Monday at Nobles Funeral Chapel in Navasota.

Visitation for Nobles will be from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Nobles Funeral Chapel. A prayer service will take place at 7 p.m. during the visitation. The funeral service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Both students will be buried at Oakland Cemetery in Navasota.

• Craig Kapitan’s e-mail address is ckapitan@theeagle.com.

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