Friends and family gathered at the San Jose Church of Christ on Thursday night to celebrate the life of a Mandarin teen who was killed in a car accident early Sunday morning.
“It’s still hard to realize that he’s gone, and to know that he’s gone. But we know he’s in a better place,” said family friend Christopher Cherry.
Garrett Schaub, 14, was one of four teens in a car that crashed into a tree on Mandarin Road early Sunday morning. Police said two other teens were seriously injured and a fourth person in the car walked away unharmed.
The two other injured teens were released from the hospital Thursday, according to Garrett's father.
Police said the teen who walked away from the crash was the only one wearing a seat belt in the car.
Thursday night, hundreds of people gathered at San Jose Church of Christ for a celebration of life in memory of Garrett (pictured).
"It's amazing to see all the support for the family," Cherry said. "Friends just all around. I know it's going to mean a lot to the family. He was a very awesome kid."
Instead of wearing black to the celebration of life ceremony, everyone wore blue and green, Garrett’s favorite colors. Many told News4Jax how much his personality will be missed.
“(He was a) people person, outgoing. I don’t think he ever met a person that he didn’t like,” said Garrett’s great uncle Larry Linley. “He had Jewish friends and he had Italian friends. He had black friends, he even had Russian friends. That speaks so many words for him and his character, how he reached out to so many people.”
Garrett’s friends told News4Jax that he was not only a people person, but an avid sports fan who was on his way to beginning his freshman year at Mandarin High School.
Those who knew him also said Garrett was someone who had a deep faith in God. Christopher Cherry said he had the honor of baptizing Garrett.
“It was a great blessing for me to be able to do that," Cherry said. "I know it’s tough for the family, but he’s in a better place now.”
Garrett’s family handed out pamphlets with a message to, “Always wear your seat belt,” Thursday night.
They hope that Garrett’s story will remind young people to be safe on the road and that his death will inspire people to seek refuge through faith.
"If we have one or two or 10 that come forward and they're touched by this, I can't really say it's worth it, but it's a reward,” said Linley.