Peers remember 15-year-old Wesley Chapel boy killed in accident

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (WFLA) – As the sun set on Wesley Chapel High School, people gathered on the track where Jaret Harshman used to run for cross-country practice.

Team members led a large procession for a lap around the school’s track.

Jaret Harshman running Cross County for WCHS
Jaret Harshman running Cross County for WCHS

Leading the group, fellow runners from the cross-country team. They held a banner with messages to Jaret.

Wednesday evening, Jaret, along with two friends, was heading to a bible study in Brooksville, when the driver missed a stop sign, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. A pickup truck plowed into the Chevy, badly injuring all three passengers.

Jaret died at a hospital. His parents and family members were among those walking the track Friday.

People remember the 15-year-old as smart, funny and very athletic. “Every time he came to class he was always smiling, being very, very positive person. So it was very hard hearing what happened,” student Alexis Morgan said.

Classmates remember Jaret always being upbeat. “I’m not that good at basketball. And like the one time we did play with him was like oh, ‘Don’t say that about yourself. You know, practice, try, maybe you’ll get better,’” Hunter Dechant said.

Memorial for teen

Facebook Photo: Jaret Harshman
Facebook Photo: Jaret Harshman

The ceremony brought many hugs and tears, as the young crowd tried to understand how this tragedy happened. “He was a very popular kid and he touched everyone while he was here,” Cameron Wilcox said.

A touching moment came when the crowd of at least a couple hundred blew soap bubbles into the night sky. The silent cascade drifted in the gentle breeze, a fitting tribute to a young man who touched so many lives.

Counselors were at the school Thursday, right after the crash. Between 40 and 50 students took advantage of their services, as did staff members. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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