Student's death mars Homecoming

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tribune photo by Clint Confehr Just after the MCHS Homecoming Parade, Cameron Adams, Cody Blackerby, Hannah Butler and Lacey Holt show their love for Shane Hendrix who died in a crash Thursday.

Marshall County High School's Homecoming last week was dedicated to a junior who perished on Thursday night as a result of injuries suffered in a one-car crash on Verona-Caney Road.

Shane William Hendrix, 17, of Bethbirei Road was buried in Bennett Cemetery in Williamson County after services at London Funeral Home. His girlfriend, Kelly Fitzgerald, remained in Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Hendrix was driving a 1994 Saab north on Verona Caney Road at about 10 p.m. when the car went off the road, hit a mailbox and fence and turned over. He was thrown from the car with his girlfriend.

Hendrix's brother, Shawn Maddox, was in the back seat of the Saab during the crash and was reportedly walking at the scene of the 10:06 p.m., Sept. 24, wreck.

Friends of the high school sweethearts said they were flown by an Air-Evac helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The crash was just north of Double Bridges Road.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper David Hill investigated the fatal crash and reported the Saab went off the east side of the roadway, began to overturn, ejecting the two front seat passengers and came to rest in a field on the east side of Verona Caney Road, according to THP Dispatcher J. Goodwin.

WSMV reported Fitzgerald suffered a fractured pelvis, a broken collarbone and a lacerated liver. Friends speaking after Hendrix's funeral said Fitzgerald was still hospitalized.

Acquaintances of the three said the trio had been at a Marshall County High School powder puff football game just before the crash.

Information about the crash was announced over the intercom system at MCHS on Friday morning. A number of students participating in the school's Homecoming Parade that morning were wearing T-shirts to commemorate their friend's passing.

"He was a nice guy," said Cody Blackerby, who knew Hendrix since he was a sophomore.

"He wanted us to have fun today," Blackerby said after the homecoming parade. "I know Kelly would have, too. He will be missed."

Hannah Butler said Hendrix "fell out through the sunroof. They announced that and for us to have him in our prayers."

MCHS Vice Principal Shanda Sparrow spoke at a memorial service in the high school gymnasium where "the whole school joined hands and sang the Alma Matter," Chelsie Wood said.

Katie Meek said, "Everybody cried."

Tyler Burns said he, Hendrix, his brother, and their friends had enjoyed passing time together, playing electronic games and knowing they were among friends.

"He was the toughest guy I've ever known," Burns said. "He could take any pain.

"He had a lacerated kidney and played a whole football game," Burns said.

Hunter Thomas said Hendrix played defensive end and middle linebacker.

"If you were sad," Burns said, "he'd make you smile."

Katie Thomas met Hendrix in the first grade. "We were close in eighth and ninth grades. We had a lot of classes together."

She agreed with Burns that Hendrix could make his classmates smile when they felt blue.

Hendrix and Fitzgerald "were a lot alike," Burns said. "They were always together,"

Hendrix's obituary appears on page A2 of today's edition.