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Brothers' crash stuns Poway High

Highway and Road DisastersTransportation DisastersJohn Albert GardnerChelsea King

POWAY, Calif. – A message of encouragement for two brothers seriously injured in an accident decorated the fence outside Poway High School Thursday afternoon.

The brothers were among four students at the school involved in a crash on Twin Peaks Road around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. A Ford Escort collided with a truck and other vehicles when the driver of the Escort, 17-year-old Michael Bryant swerved, San Diego Sheriff's deputies said. Seniors Christian Isaly and Joey Casteloes and Bryant’s 15-year-old brother, Matthew were also in the car.

“When it’s people close to you, it sucks,” said Poway High School sophomore Gideon Fidelis. “I sit two seats behind [Matthew]. He's always like the funny guy.”

“He’s like the funniest guy I've ever met in my life,” sophomore Natalie Smith said. “He always makes jokes and can make anybody laugh.”

Laughter was the last thing on their minds Thursday as the Bryant brothers remained in the hospital.

Mikey broke numerous bones in the crash, officials said.  He had surgery and is now in stable condition.  His brother suffered major head trauma and is currently in an induced coma.  Matthew is in critical, but stable condition, officials said.

On Thursday, Poway High Principal Scott Fisher gave students update over the school’s public announcement system.

“He talked about that they're in critical condition. They had surgery and they're still pretty beat up,” said sophomore Tyler Ellefson. “I was pretty devastated, I knew him in my world history class.”

“I was really scared, I cried for a while,” said Smith. “I just prayed a lot, I just prayed and talked to my mom.”

Poway has had more than its fair share of tragedies.  For the last three years, at least one student has died each year.  In November, Luke Lipscomb was shot under bizarre circumstances.  In 2009, Clayton Blackburn died in his sleep and Veronica Aguirre died in a car accident.  In 2010, Chelsea King was raped and murdered by John Albert Gardner.  Later that year, Tyler Peterson collapsed and died at home.

“You just have to move on and get through with the education that's the important thing,” said Ellefson.

“Poway is a family and everything's going to be really good,” said Smith.

Principal Fisher said he will continue to keep students updated on the conditions of the two brothers.  Counseling will be provided to students should they need it.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Highway and Road DisastersTransportation DisastersJohn Albert GardnerChelsea King