Tuesday, the Clay High School community gathered inside the school's auditorium to say good-bye to 16-year-old Cody Van Hersett.
The teen died last week when his pick-up truck collided with a semi on Navarre Avenue and South Wynn Road. Out of respect for his loved ones WNWO decided not to go to the funeral. But here's the Oregon Schools Superintendent's statement and funeral remarks.
Oregon Superintendent Dr. Michael E. Zalar's Statement on Cody Van Hersett's Death
Today, it is with great sorrow that the Oregon Schools and community say good bye to Cody Van Hersett. In our profession nothing is more heartbreaking than the death of one of our students. Cody will be remembered as an outstanding young man. He was a cherished classmate, teammate and friend to all. Cody had a significant impact on many during his life and his spirit will live on in our hearts, our school and our community. We share the family's grief and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family during this difficult time.
Dr. Zalar's Funeral Remarks
Members of the family, friends, relatives and classmates. . . On behalf of the Oregon Schools Board of Education, teachers, staff and administration we would like to extend our heartfelt sorrow and condolences on the loss of your son and our friend - Cody Van Hersett. Cody was an integral member of our school family and a remarkable young man, which is evident by the number of lives he touched. By all accounts, he was a friend to all - someone who cared more about others than himself. In many respects, this is a case where the student really became our teacher. Cody taught us through his actions to be kind to people. He taught us through his positive encouragement and enthusiasm for life. He taught us through the love that he freely shared with others. Cody was living proof of just how good a person can be. For many of us it was a privilege to get to know Cody through our time together here at school whether in the classroom, on the soccer field and on hockey rink. Today we celebrate his life. Cody lived a life that truly inspires emulation. Although his time with us was cut short, the quality of that time will be with us forever. Yes, Cody has left us with a void that we cannot fill. We want his family to know that we will miss him, too. But we resolve to cherish his memory. The presence of Cody will be felt in these hallways and in this community because his spirit is strong. He will live on. He will not be forgotten. Our hearts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time. We ask God's blessing for you that he might comfort you and your family in your time of sorrow. Thank you.