BOONE COUNTY, Ind. (Mar. 16, 2014) — The Boone County Sheriff’s Office is trying to figure out what caused a car with two teens inside to slam in to a tree.
The crash killed Jake Shockley, 18, of Advance and Richard Penny Jr., 18, of Lebanon. Neighbors reported hearing a loud noise around 1 a.m., but the crash wasn’t discovered until around 8 a.m.
Shockley’s family says he was just a few months from graduating from Western Boone Senior High School, and was ready to go off to a technical school.
“When he entered a room, you knew he was there even before you saw him, because you could feel him,” said Kathy Meeker, Shockley’s aunt.
His grandmother, Tina Miller, said, “He had a very gentle spirit, he just loved to drive his car.”
Driving his car is what Shockley was doing when his life was cut short. His family says he was taking his friend, Richard Penny Jr., home early Sunday morning.
Something caused his car to slam right in to this tree on County Road 800 North. The impact killed them both.
“This is just so devastating,” Miller said.
Shockley was just a few months from away from graduating from Western Boone High School, then it was on to college.
“He was gonna go off to Lincoln Tech, he’d already been accepted to be a diesel mechanic,” Miller said.
Memories will keep the family strong as they reflect on what Shockley loved the most.
“We would have the big dinners at the holidays, you know, and so when Jake would come over for those holidays, he immediately would come where we were cooking or where ever we were at, and come in and embrace us with a hug,” Meeker said.
Hugging will be what Shockley’s family will be doing for a long time to come, as they focus on healing.
“He loved my cooking, he’d come over for gramma’s cooking, hahaha,” Miller said.
Richard Penny Jr. graduated from Western Boone High School last year. We did try to contact his family, but they did not wish to speak with us. The sheriff’s department says they will be here to help students deal with the tragedy, and make sure counseling is available.