Communities mourn two teenagers who died in crash over weekend
By John Underwood / [email protected]
ROSINTON, Alabama – Local communities mourn the deaths of two teenagers, killed in a single vehicle crash on Saturday June 12 off County Road 64 in Rosinton.
The two teenagers have been identified as Paul “Bear” Sexton and Lydia Peace, both 17 years old, both residents of Foley.
According to a statement from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the accident occurred Saturday afternoon when a 2006 Chrysler Pacifica left the roadway, struck a tree and caught fire. Peace and Sexton were both pronounced dead at the scene.
Senior Rider Anna Peoples, a highway homicide investigator with the Alabama law enforcement agency, said Tuesday there was no new information related to the crash.
“All we have at the moment is what was in the soldier’s initial report that, for unknown reasons, the vehicle left the roadway, hit a tree and was engulfed in flames,” she declared. “The investigating soldier is still questioning witnesses, but unfortunately we may never know the reason.”
According to the initial report, seat belts were available in the vehicle, but it is not known whether they were used or not.
On social media, Baldwin County Public Schools offered their condolences “to the families of two teenagers who were killed this weekend in a Baldwin County car crash.”
Robertsdale High School principal Joe Sharp confirmed on Tuesday that Peace was a student at the school.
“It caught us all off guard. She was so full of life and so full of potential, ”he said. “All we can do right now is come together and reach out to the family to offer whatever we can to meet their needs during this tragic time.”
Loxley town officials also offered their condolences. Lydia Peace’s mother and grandfather are both longtime city employees, Mayor Richard Teal said.
“It is with great sadness that I share that the family of the town of Loxley has lost a loved one,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. “Our hearts are heavy with this news and we offer our deepest condolences to family and friends.”
Lieutenant Tony Lovell, chief investigator of the Loxley Police Department, who is also the town’s volunteer fire chief, called Peace “a brilliant young woman with a great future boss of her”.
“His life was too short,” he said. “It’s just a bad situation and we will miss her very much. She was kidnapped far too soon.
Go Fund Me accounts were created to raise funds to help with the funeral expenses of the two teenagers.
“Help Send Lydia Peace Home” was created by Ginger Lee of Brewton, and “The Funeral of Paul Sexton (Christina Sexton’s Son)” was created by Josie Kalmer of Gulf Shores.
Kalmer said she was in contact with Christina Sexton on Facebook through a project called Santa’s Giving Tree, which provides Christmas presents to families in need, set up by Sexton.
“He’s someone who always gives 100% to help the community and I really felt that was something the community could do to give back to him,” Kalmer said. “No parent should lose their child and I hope it’s an expense she doesn’t have to worry about during this time.”
A profit to help with Sexton’s expenses also took place Thursday at the Symbolic Ink Shop in Foley.
“He was a really good boy and it was a sad and sad day for us,” said store owner Chris Blake.
Proceeds from all sales on Thursday were spent on expenses for Sexton, Blake said, including sales of food available that day.
“We are doing everything we can to help,” he said. “You just couldn’t ask for a better person and when we heard what happened we all fell apart.”
The latest tragedy follows reports of at least six Baldwin teenagers killed in road crashes over a three-month period in late spring and summer 2020.
Last June, three friends, Blayne Shackelford of Bay Minette, Ty Drinkard of Perdido and John Avery Blackmon of Spanish Fort, died in a car crash near the community of Crossroads.
A month later, 16-year-old Dalton DeFilippi of Daphne died in a single vehicle accident on County Road 54 between Belforest and Silverhill.
In August, Daphne’s Terrence Muse and Robertsdale’s Garrett Phillips died in separate accidents on the same day.