CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - There was a moment of silence Friday night before Oakleaf High School's homecoming game to remember a student who was killed in a crash earlier this week.
Keondre Moss, 16, died and two other Oakleaf High students were hospitalized after Jacksonville police said the car they were in struck a tree in the median of Oakleaf Village Parkway -- about 2 miles away from the school -- on Monday afternoon.
Family members of Moss -- including his grandfather, Donald Moss -- were at the special memorial, which took place at Oakleaf High before the football game against Ed White High School kicked off at 7 p.m. Friday.
"He was a prince of a guy and in my eyes, he stands 9 feet tall," Donald Moss said.
He told News4Jax that there is one thing he wants his grandson to know.
"I'm really proud of you, soldier," Donald Moss said.
The color purple filled the stadium Friday night in honor of Moss. Players wore purple under their uniforms and cheerleaders had purple bows.
"I was literally just talking to him before we got out of school and just to hear that he passed away in a car crash -- it just hurt," said Amya Smith, a friend of Moss.
It was an emotional night. Later in the evening, there was a scare during the game that led to the game being paused.
Before the homecoming game, News4Jax spoke with Stephanie Elder. She is the mother of 18-year-old Taj Richey, who was one of the teenage boys injured in the crash. Elder said her son is awake and breathing at Orange Park Medical Center, but, unfortunately, his left leg was amputated.
Elder said her son and Moss were attached at the hip and did everything together, which is understandably why Richey is having a difficult time dealing with the loss of his best friend.
"He was heartbroken. That was the hardest thing I had to tell my son -- getting two bad news. His friend was gone and he kept saying it was his fault. He said he was supposed to protect him and they were supposed to do things together," Elder said.
Witnesses told police on Monday that the car was speeding and possibly racing two others before losing control. Elder shared an important message that she wants all drivers to keep in mind.
"Slow down, slow down," she said. "Cars are not toys. They cost lives if you don't use them the correct way."
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