East Lansing Mourns Eady Family

By: Meaghan M. Norman Email
By: Meaghan M. Norman Email

Students and staff at East Lansing High School are mourning the loss of a football player and student whose impact will never be forgotten. Students came dressed in black, questioning, crying and remembering their friend.

"I was shocked then very concerned about my students and how they would process the loss," said high school principal Paula Steele.

17 year old East Lansing High School Senior Josh Eady was coming back from his grandmother's funeral in Mississippi when the SUV he was riding in flipped over.

"How very difficult it is and sad when tragedies strike our schools," said Steele.

The crash happened in Missouri around 8 am Sunday morning. State police there said Eady's mother was trying pass another vehicle when she lost control and ran off the road. Eady and his older sister Whitney died.

"His older sister I knew. She graduated in the class of 2005. She was also a very loving person," said Steele.

Eady's mother, father, older brother and another older sister suffered serious injuries and as of monday evening are still in the hospital.

It was very somber at East Lansing High School on Monday as kids comforted each other, decorated Eady's locker and signed a banner in the lobby that read: "He's not gone, he's just away."

Eady would have graduated next year. He was a two-year starter for the Trojans who was just beginning to come into his own.

"He had some of his best games recently," said varsity football head coach Bill Feraco, "He probably had his best game, the Grand Ledge game -- which tragically was the last game he played."

Feraco told his team the sad news on Sunday night but said there really wasn't much he could do or say.

"It was a reflective mood. The shock of trying to integrate what happened and put it into real terms," said Feraco, "There's no answer for things like this that happen."

Eady left his mark on and off the field.

"He was always very helpful," said Steele. "He would open the door for me, carried packages. He was very quick with a smile."

Students say Josh's smile and laughter lit up the school. Now the grief and loss they're feeling is nothing they could have prepared for.

"[The grief] can't be measured. We need to remain strong and absorb that strength among one another," said Coach Feraco.

Facebook pages have been set up as a place to remember and honor Eady and the family.

"We're trying to find a balance for how to move on and move through the grief," said Steele.

"We're going to deal with it in the way Josh would have wanted by preparing the way we have all year long," said Feraco.

A candelight vigil is planned for Josh Eady Monday night on the football field. A parent group is also organizing to support and fundraise for the family.

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