LCPS mourns student’s death

Published 9:55 am Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Lunenburg County School officials praised Datrail Barnes as a good student and mourned his death in a traffic accident early Sunday morning. Barnes, 17, a Central High School senior, and his friend Alex Ferree were killed when they were hit by a pickup as they walked on Route 49. The driver was not charged.

“Datrail was an excellent student in the classroom and a great student-athlete,” Lunenburg County Public Schools Superintendent Charles M. Berkley said. “He will be greatly missed at Central High School and in the community.”

Central High School Principal John Long said Barnes had “a warm personality, a good heart and always wanted to help others.” He was a popular and well-liked student who once said that if he won the lottery he was going to take some of the money and build a new state-of-the-art school for Central.

“This demonstrates his positive attitude toward life,” Long said.

“Datrail was a shining light in our school and his beautiful smile, charm, outgoing personality and sweet nature was evident every day in the halls at Central High School,” Assistant Principal Natalie Coronas said. “He was loved by many and he will be missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends, family, the community, and our Central High School family.

Coach Janet Johnson noted Barnes had a smile that could light up a room.

“When he played soccer, he gave it his all and his enthusiasm was contagious,” she said. “He was appreciative of anything that was done for him.”

Meanwhile, Coach Mike McGrath said Barnes was a dedicated Charger basketball player who cared about his teammates and fellow students.

“He kept a positive outlook. He always said, before each game, ‘Don’t worry, we got this one, Coach,’” McGrath recalled

A memorial was held 8:50 a.m. Wednesday, March 9, at the Central High School flag pole for the teens.

Counselors have been available to the students, a spokesperson for the system said. The system has also posted condolences on its webpage, noting the system “extends its deepest sympathies to the families who lost loved ones in the tragic accident … Our thoughts and prayers are with those involved in this tragic accident.”

The accident that killed the two youths is under investigation.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to pay to transport Ferree back to his home-state of Tennessee and bury him there.

Barnes, of Kenbridge, and Ferree, 19, who was living in Victoria, were killed Sunday, March 6, when David E. Wells, 48, of Victoria, driving a 2014 Ford F-150 traveling south on Route 49, came through a thick patch of fog and encountered the two teenagers walking in the southbound lane.

The youths, clad in dark clothing as they walked home from a friend’s house, died at the scene.