BONHAM — Students and staff at Bonham High School Monday grieved the loss of BHS senior Jesse Runyon and prayed for Thomas Calame, a BHS alumni.
DPS troopers told news reporters that Mr. Runyon died from injuries he sustained in a one-car accident in Fannin County early Saturday morning.
Troopers said the wreck occurred on Hwy 78, north of Bonham.
BHS Principal Steve Hill called Mr. Runyon was “a good kid. I don’t think I ever saw him when he didn’t have a smile on his face. He was always just a happy kid. He didn’t have mean bone in his body.”
Hill said the district had a crisis team in place Monday morning to help students deal with the loss of Mr. Runyon and with worry over Calame. Hill said Calame, who graduated in 2011, was “exactly the same kind of kid” as Mr. Runyon. He recalled Calame as a “happy, go lucky type who had never been in any trouble at the school.
Hill said the death of a student is always traumatic for the student body and for the faculty as well. He noted that almost all of Bonham High’s faculty knew the two young men.
The district offered counseling to the students in various parts of the school Monday and Hill said some students were taking up the offer. The district also provided talking points to teachers to help them cope with discussions about the situation that might come up in the classroom.
Hill said he is proud of the way the community, the district and the students have responded to the news.
“The students are planning some things … some memorials and have already done some things,” Hill said, noting a chalked rendition of the two student’s names appeared outside the school once news began to spread about the incident. The memorial, he said, was very tastefully done and that is what he expects and appreciates about the BHS student body.
Law enforcement officers are still investigating the accident. Media reports state that Calame, 18, of Bonham and Mr. Runyon were both thrown from the car after it went into a curve and then off the side of the road before striking a tree.
Neither Calame nor Mr. Runyon were wearing seat belts, troopers reported. Calame was taken to an area hospital and was said to have suffered brain injuries.
Information from Mr. Runyon’s obituary said the teen had participated in FFA and band during his years in school. He also enjoyed welding and was an avid outsdoorsman who loved hunting, fishing, and being outside. The young man had recently begun work at Burger King in Bonham.