Daejah Hough: a young teen’s life ends too soon
By Jana E. Pye, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Daejah Hough was described as “delightful” and “full of joy”, terms to describe a 15 year old freshman at Darlington High School with her life ahead of her, words to be perhaps written in her yearbook by friends, or comments from teachers.
Sadly, those phrases were used in her obituary.
The teen died tragically, crossing a four-lane highway early on Tuesday, March 17, with two of her brothers in tow. The children were ready for school- she to the high school, and her younger brothers to Pate Elementary.
Word spread quickly in Darlington, as the coroner’s report released the name of the girl, and that she had been struck crossing Highway 52, just after 6:00 a.m. at the intersection of Syracuse Street.
The tales spread on social media rapidly, as information was released. She was struck not once, but twice; by a freightliner truck, than a Chrysler minivan. Photos streamed on social media of the truck with the “pipe” torn across the top where the driver tried to brake in time. She suffered from a degree of cerebral palsy that did not allow her young legs to run as fast as her brothers.
The Darlington County School District released a statement that the investigation is ongoing, and that bus routes are set up so that no child has to cross a four-lane highway to get to a bus stop.
Additional counselors were sent to the high school, and to the elementary school to assist grieving children, who were horrified by the news.
S.C. Highway Patrol issued a statement that the drivers would not be charged since the children had been crossing illegally, as there is no crosswalk at that area.
Parents hugged their children a little tighter.
Television reports show the grieving driver of the minivan that struck the child as she lay in the road from the first impact. His grief was palpable.
Students wore red, Daejah’s favorite color, at Darlington High School on Friday, and her funeral was held on the Falcon’s campus on Sunday, and her burial will be in Sandy Bluff Cemetery.
As listed in her obituary, she was born in Darlington County a daughter of Shemeka Hough Kirkland and the late Dwight Jackson. She was a member of Redeemed Cathedral Baptist Church. Survivors include: her mother and step- father, Shemeka Hough Kirkland and Kenneth Kirkland; four sisters, Ajarelle, Daeyonna, Ke’Ziah and Ken’zayah; five brothers, Davion, Tyquaz, Kemorey, Denton and Deomdese; maternal grandmother, Mary Nell Hough; maternal great grandfather, Leon Bacote; paternal grandmother, Barbara Jackson, paternal grandfather, Lynwood Gregg; and a host of other relatives and friends.
And still, the community wonders how this could have been prevented?
The incident remains under investigation.