Family and friends mourn loss of Marion teen

MARION, AR (WMC-TV) - A Mid-South community is mourning the death of a 17-year-old high school student after a freak accident that created a nightmare for his sister and his family.

The shock of seventeen year old Stewart Herndon's death is hard to comprehend for his classmates at Marion High.

"I was just talking to him Friday in class. You just never expect someone to pass," student Tyler Nelson said.

The teenager had just left a party at the Triple R Ranch Saturday night.  Investigators said he was driving his truck and decided to climb out of the window to get in the bed of the truck to be with a friend. He handed the wheel to his 13 year old sister who was in the passenger seat. But in a freak accident, Stewart Herndon fell and hit his head on the road.

When investigators arrived, the teenager was lying in the street. His family was already there and his mother was giving him CPR."

"It's just a terrible accident. A young 17 year old kid doing what a lot of 17 year old kids do. It's terrible," Tommy Marting of the Crittenden County Sheriff's Department said.

The teenagers friends gathered at his Marion home to celebrate his memory.

Dylan Steele, one of Herndon's best friends since Kindergarten, said it is hard to believe he is gone. But it is also hard not to laugh and smile thinking about him.

"At first I was heartbroken about it, but I started thinking about Stewart. All in All I wish it hadn't happened," Steele said.

The teen's grandmother from California remembers the hugs he always gave her and everyone else.

"He gave hugs to everyone. That's just what he did. I went to see him by myself that is one thing I really missed," grandmother Debbie Gibson said.

A benefit baseball game is scheduled for October 25th to raise money for Stewart Herndon's medical expenses. The teen did not have insurance.

Click here to e-mail Janice Broach.