Ocean Springs Students Mourn Two Of Their Own - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ocean Springs Students Mourn Two Of Their Own

John McGrath and Mike Battle loved to hang out with their friends at the Ocean Springs Sonic. Wooden crosses in front are a sad reminder that the carefree get togethers will never be the same.

Student Patrick Brasher says, "Everybody just goes to the Sonic and just hangs out and has a good time."

"They were like brothers to all of us. Every time we had problems, they were there. They were fun to hang out with," says sophomore Justin Kline.

At the accident site just west of Highway 57, another memorial sits among pieces of Mike Battle's red mustang. Their friends say they were doing what all teens do.

"We love to cruise. That's what we always did, late night. Nothing else to do, we'd go cruisin. They were cruisin, driving too fast, lost control," says senior Robert Brown.

The deaths are bringing kids together as they lean on each other for comfort and understanding.

Senior Shanna Dees says, "It's hard to believe. We just don't understand why, you know. It's just very sad."

She and Ashley Medina say you couldn't ask for better friends than Mike and John.

"Mike was one of a kind, very unique and very accepting of anyone. It didn't matter who you were, he would accept you as a friend and do anything for you. John just had a heart of gold. He was the sweetest person I have ever met. Fun loving, very easy going. He was an awesome person," says Dees.

Medina says, "If any of us were ever upset, John and Mike were always the ones to make everyone happy."

Assistant Principal Terry Breland says the loss of these two teens is the latest in what seems to be a tragic pattern at Ocean Springs High.

"We've lost more than one senior up here and it's just never easy. You just never get over it. The only thing you can do is just work through it," Breland says.

Funeral arrangements have been made for both teens. Visitations for both will be at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Ocean Springs.

John McGrath's visitation is Tuesday 1-2pm. He will be buried in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Visitation for Michael Battle will be Thursday January 19th, from 1-2pm at the church, with burial to follow in Mobile.

Highway Patrol spokesman Joe Gazzo says they're still investigating the accident.

John McGrath would have turned 19 the day after the accident. McGrath graduated last year from Ocean Springs High. Michael Battle would have graduated this spring.

byMarcia Hill

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