Across Metro Atlanta students as well as whole communities have been saddened by several recent unexplainable, tragic deaths taking the young lives of families in Rockdale, Gwinnett and DeKalb counties. Grief counselors have been on hand for students, and communities have come together to comfort each other.
A community prayer service for four children burned to death in a Conyers duplex fire on Tuesday night has been scheduled for Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Macedonia Baptist Church in Conyers. The Rockdale County Fire and Rescue Department says the Glass family Children were all victims of an intense blaze that’s believed to have started on the second level of the duplex at 1149 Pinedale Circle. As the cause of the fire is still under investigation, family, friends and Rockdale County students remain in shock over the horrible death suffered by the children.
Nine year old 9-year-old Adaria, 7-year-old Dashawn, 3-year-old Armoni and 7-month-old Deon died leaving one surviving bother, Darnell who turns age 6 on Saturday. Darnell mother, Reba Glass, was able to save her son by throwing him out of a window. Reba Glass is being treated at Grady Memorial Hospital, after suffering severe burns over 40 percent of her body. Witnesses say they heard Reba Glass screaming, “My babies, my babies!”, as she made it out of the home with her mother Rosetta Mitchell.
A neighbor, 18 -year- old Rockdale County High School junior, Lamonta Stroud, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution, he “attempted to get upstairs, but his older brother pulled him back. Stroud, hailed for his efforts by Conyers police, said he ran to the back of the house where he heard someone banging on the second-story window. He said he spotted 9-year-old Adaria, but then she disappeared.”
Levett & Sons Funeral Home has offered to handle the funerals at no cost to the family and the services will be held Saturday, Jan. 19 at 11 a.m. at Macedonia Baptist Church. A Glass Family Memorial Fund has also been set up with Wells Fargo Bank.
Gwinnett County students returned to school this week mourning the unexpected death of 12- year-old student athlete Jeremy Nelson. The well liked seventh grader died Saturday night when he suddenly collapsed while playing recreational league basketball with the Gwinnett Basketball League. Fluid buildup in Jeremy’s lungs was the cause of death. Students at Buford Middle School wore black in memory of Jeremy on the first day back to school, and grief counselors were on hand to help students through the week. Classmates reportedly had a hard time dealing with Jeremy’s death. A number of parents are organizing on Facebook to help many Buford students, wanting to go to Jeremy’s funeral, to attend it together.
Buford City Schools Superintendent Geye Hamby, quoted in the Gwinnett Prep Sports said, "Jeremy had a presence in the hallways and on the court. He was a young man that always shared kindness with others and one that the students enjoyed being around. His very pleasant demeanor will be missed by all."
Jeremy Nelson death is a hard blow for Gwinnett area students who have experiences several unexpected deaths including the most recent death of 16-year-old Buford High School student Adam Smith. Last year’s shocking collapse of the basketball player left many mourning friends and family. Adam was working out during a pre-season practice in September 2012 when he collapsed and died three days later.
Jeremy Nelson’s funeral is being handled by Gregory B. Levett and Sons Funeral Home at the North Gwinnett Chapel in Buford. The funeral is scheduled for noon on Saturday Jan. 12. The first public visitation happened Thursday, Jan. 10 from 5pm to 9pm at the Buford location. Jeremy’s body will be moved to the South DeKalb Chapel on Friday, Jan. 11 for the second visitation from 9am to 9pm.
On Saturday, Jan. 5, the DeKalb County community came out to say good bye to the Mallet Family at the Tabernacle Assembly of God in Decatur.
Many Stephenson Middle School students returned to classes this week with happy memories of their late classmate, 12-year-old Andrew “Drew” Mallet and Andrew’s mother, 49-year-old Jacqueline “Jackie” Mallet. Jackie worked at Stephenson Middle. Drew’s father, 51-year-old Ainsworth Mallet, was also killed as the family traveled the New Jersey Turnpike returning home from a holiday trip. Drew’s 18-year-old sister, Nikki, was the only survivor.
Stephenson Middle School students say the well-liked 7th grader always had a way of making people smile and his fun spirit will be missed.