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Funeral arrangements made for Chiles student who died in crash, grief services available for students

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 6:15 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 1, 2021 at 2:17 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Three days ago, three students at Chiles High School found themselves in a car crash.

Friends of those involved told WCTV that one of them is slowly recovering, another passenger, Makayla Campa, is in critical condition, and her boyfriend, Caden Staats, died at the scene Monday.

The Timberwolves are still processing and grieving as they come to terms with all that has taken place.

There is no new information Wednesday on what caused the early morning crash, but the pain left in its wake is severe, and that is where focus lies this week: caring for the Chiles community.

Isaiah Perry, one of Caden’s close friends, said, “I would say the hardest part is not being able to see him again. That hurts the most”

Perry said he misses his longtime friend, but keeping his memory alive and talking to others has given him peace of mind. “It was just nice to be able to share something I loved about him with someone else,” Perry explained.

Staat’s JV Basketball Coach, Eli Phillips, echoed Perry.

“Being able to have those conversations to help them, has honestly helped me as well,” Phillips said.

Phillips said his players and students are all getting through this loss together.

“I think these kids are just so sad, and at a loss for words,” he shared. “I think just having those conversations, expressing those thoughts as simple as they may seem, can make you feel so much better afterwards.”

It is a pain that each student deals with differently, according to Kim Brumage with the school’s counseling department. That is why the school has five counselors on hand.

“The most important thing I think is just to be here,” expressed Brumage. “To make sure students have support, and give them more support if they need it.”

And the pain is not just difficult for Caden’s peers, but parents like Isaiah’s father who talked to WCTV on Monday.

“It is hard as a parent, and I am sure every parent says this, but it is literally every parent’s worst nightmare,” said Jacob Perry, “Every time they get into a car, when they are with other friends doing whatever, it is almost a paranoia. And this sense of relief when they get home. And it breaks my heart knowing his mother will never have that feeling....it’s a terrible tragedy.”

Meal trains and fundraisers are in place for both the Campa and Staats families. The links can be accessed below:

Funeral arrangements have been set for Monday, April 5 at 2 p.m. The funeral will take place at Restoration Place (3881 N Monroe Street).

The Chiles High School Twitter account posted about Caden’s funeral Thursday afternoon.

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