HOLDEN, La. (WAFB) - Resting above the Holden High School basketball court sits the scoreboard. On the clock, 33 seconds, the same number 16-year-old Nathan Raymond wore for the Holden Rockets.
Raymond died early Sunday morning (Feb. 16) after the truck he and four other Holden students were in swerved off the road and hit a tree. The four other students were sent to the hospital in serious condition. Two of those had been released as of Monday, Feb. 17.
“I got a phone call that there had been an accident and then I went to the hospital to meet the ambulances there and as all the parents started coming in, they were like we have this and this one,” said Haley Wascom, Raymond’s mother. “They didn’t have my son.”
Shortly after, she learned of her son’s fate.
The impact of the loss of Raymond was felt throughout Holden. Students dressed in red and multiple memorials were set up through the high school in his honor.
“It just shows me how loved he was,” Wascom said, as she sat on her front porch, still in shock from her son’s death.
She says her son was the most kind-hearted person she knew.
“He would give the shirt off his back for anybody, makes anybody smile, always a positive attitude, and loved playing basketball,” she said.
Coaches and friends all had similar things to say, that Raymond was a hardworking, smart, and extremely friendly person.
“He was just one of those kids when he walked in the room, he made it a little brighter,” said Raymond’s basketball coach, Landon Dubois.
Dubois coached Raymond since 6th grade. It was his first year as a coach. He says Raymond’s work ethic made coaching him that much easier.
“He was one of those guys you call a ‘glue guy,’” Dubois said. “He was willing to do anything and everything. He loved basketball.”
The loss, he says, has had a significant impact on the team, but he says once mourning is over, focus will return to the court.
“He loved this school and he loved this team, so he’s going to want us to get back to what we were doing,” he said. “To work hard and just try to remember his through that.”
The Rockets were supposed to play the team’s final regular season game Tuesday; that game has since been canceled.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing.