‘Just a really lovable guy’: Chiles community mourning loss of freshman in fatal North Meridian crash

Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 5:15 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A light in the Chiles Timberwolves community is gone too soon following a fatal crash Monday morning.

Caden Staats, a freshman basketball player at Chiles High School, died in the crash after he, his girlfriend and one other student were driving north on North Meridian Road when they hit several trees.

The other two students are expected to recover.

Isaiah Perry says he was in his third period math class when he heard the news and began to break down, thinking of his longtime friend and teammate.

Perry says the two met in met in middle school. Both being deemed the “Tall Guys”, he says, made them instant friends.

On the basketball court, Perry took Staats under his wing, but says it was Staats who served as the example; always a light to others and uplifting those around him.

“Just a really lovable guy, someone easy to talk to, pretty friendly, nice to everybody, doesn’t ask much form you,” Perry recalled.

Perry’s father says Staats was a good kid and his death is a reminder of how short life is.

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