The entire community is mourning the loss of a 16-year-old Altha teen killed in a tragic single vehicle accident early Saturday morning.
Nolan Bailey Musgrove was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash that occurred on State Road 71 South in Jackson County.
Sustaining minor injuries were his passengers, Emily Sewell of Blountstown and Cole Miller of Altha, both 16. The pair were transported to Jackson Hospital where they were treated and released.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the accident occurred a half mile south of Suncrest Road. Musgrove was reportedly behind the wheel of a 1999 Chevy Silverado headed southbound on SR 71 around 4:15 a.m. at or near the posted speed limit. The truck drifted to the left, crossed the northbound lane of travel and drove onto the east shoulder of State Road 71. The left side of the vehicle collided with a wooden utility pole. The resulting collision with the utility pole caused the truck to rotate clockwise. The vehicle overturned and came to final rest facing south on the east shoulder of State Road 71.
FHP Trooper Sean Hill noted the accident was NOT alcohol related. Miller was wearing a seatbelt; Musgrove and Sewell were not.
Sources say Musgrove may have dozed off. It has also been reported his final gesture was reaching his arm over Emily Sewell to protect her when he realized the vehicle was out of control.
The son of Dara Schamens and Kevin Musgrove, Nolan was a popular student at Altha School. Just last week, The County Record featured him in the homecoming court after he was selected to represent the junior class. Festivities were planned for this week, but the homecoming celebration has been rescheduled due to the tragedy (see details on page 12).
New Altha baseball coach Robbie Fleck had the difficult task of comforting Nolan’s teammates after the loss.
“Nolan was smart, funny, hard working and a good kid,” Coach Fleck remarks. “He could make anyone smile no matter what the situation and was always positive and upbeat. He was loyal to his friends and teammates and he will be missed by everyone that had the pleasure of knowing him.”
Altha Principal Sue Price returned to a heartbroken campus Tuesday morning after the long holiday weekend.
“Altha School is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own,” says Price. “Nolan was a personable young man that was involved in various club activities and sports. Nolan always had a smile, a joke, and a lot of school spirit. According to his classmates, he could always put a smile on their faces, often cracking them up with his comments and jokes. He had a mischievous grin and a comical manner, but was never disrespectful or unkind. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
Classmates and loved ones have been flooding Nolan’s Facebook page with messages of remembrance. A funeral service is planned Thursday, January 23, at 2:00 pm CST at Altha Church of God. Visitation will be held tonight, Wednesday, January 22, from 6:30 until 8:30 pm CST at Altha Church of God.