Macon County Chronicle

Three Trousdale County Students Tragically Killed

With only several days left before the end of the school year and summer vacation, Trousdale County is mourning the loss of three teenage students who were killed in a tragic two-vehicle accident on State Highway 141 on Friday afternoon, May 13th. According to reports, 16-year-old Elijah Allen Oldham was driving a Chevrolet pickup truck northbound on 141, when he lost control, went off the shoulder, overcorrected and crossed the center line into the southbound lane, where a Peterbilt semi-tractor trailer struck the passenger side of the pickup. Oldham and passenger 14-year-old Jonathan Brett Berry, both died at the scene, while the second passenger, C.J. Pedigo, age 16, was airlifted to Vanderbilt, but later died. The driver of the semi wasn’t injured in the 12:45 p.m. accident.

“We’re just like a tight knit family here in Hartsville,” said Trousdale County High School Principal, Toby Woodmore, on Monday afternoon, “and a tragedy like this affects everybody in the school as well as the town. We have respected the families during their time of sorrow, and they graciously attended the candlelight vigil on Saturday night, allowing the students to speak with them.”

“Today the teachers were our first line of counseling, as well as the school counselors who were available to help students cope with the sudden deaths of their three classmates,” added Woodmore. “Our kids are holding up very well and on a scale of 1 to 10, we were a nine. They were just three young freshman students who loved life and were a joy to have in school. We have moved our exam schedules around so all the students will be able to attend the funerals.”

Services for Elijah Allen Oldham, were conducted on Tuesday afternoon, May 17th from the chapel of Anthony Funeral Home, with Rev. John Purdue, Delaney Oldham and John Carey officiating. He is survived by his parents, Mr. Lance & Mrs. Karissa Oldham, of Hartsville; sister, Miss Delaney Oldham, Hartsville; grandparents, Mr. Al & Mrs. Maria Caston, of Hermitage Springs, Tn., Mrs. Margaret Oldham, of Hartsville, Mr. Sammy Oldham, also of Hartsville and great grandmother Mrs. Christine Vandewerken. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Elijah Oldham Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Funeral services for Jonathan Brett Berry, were held in the chapel of Anthony Funeral Home on Tuesday afternoon, May 17th conducted by Bro. Leroy Crouch with interment following in the Green Grove Cemetery. He is survived by his parents, Mr. Jeff & Mrs. Colleen Berry, of Hartsville; four brothers, Tyler Street and Austin Berry, both of Hartsville, Stephen and Christopher Berry both of Iowa; three sisters, Ms. Stacey Jordan, of Indiana, Ms. Kasie Street and Ms. Amanda Berry, both of Hartsville; grandparents, Mr. Lawrence & Mrs. Rosemary Uebelacker and Mrs. Rebecca Murray all of Hartsville.

Coty James “C.J.” Pedigo, was laid to rest in the Hartsville Cemetery, on Wednesday afternoon, May 18th, following funeral services conducted by Bro. Jacky Dawson and Bro. Shawn Allen in the chapel of the Anthony Funeral Home. He is survived by mother, Mrs. Lenora Pedigo, of Hartsville; father, Mr. James W. Pedigo of Watertown; brother, Christopher Pedigo of Hartsville; two sisters, Mrs. Mary Ann Pamintuan and Mrs. Maria Billena both of the Philippines; grandmother, Mrs. Shirley Cummins, of Carthage; step grandfather, Mr. Steve Cummins of Carthage; grandfather, Mr. James C. Pedigo of Hartsville; and step grandmother, Mrs. Byrdie Pedigo also of Hartsville.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the C.J. Pedigo Memorial Fund at Wilson Bank and Trust.

Anthony Funeral Home, in Hartsville, Tennessee, in charge of all the arrangements.