New Brockton students, principal react to Elba teen’s death

New Brockton students, principal react to Elba teen’s death

WDHN's Valencia Jones shares some of the reaction of staff and students who knew Jordan Kelley, 17, who died after nearly drowning in Elba last week.
Jordan Kelley, 17, was found unresponsive in an Elba resident's pool and rushed to a Birmingham hospital where authorities say he later died from his injuries.
Jordan Kelley, 17, was found unresponsive in an Elba resident's pool and rushed to a Birmingham hospital where authorities say he later died from his injuries.
Gray Harrison, the principal of New Brockton High School, describes hearing about the accident and rushing to the emergency room of Medical Center Enterprise, before student Jordan Kelley was flown to a hospital in Birmingham.
Gray Harrison, the principal of New Brockton High School, describes hearing about the accident and rushing to the emergency room of Medical Center Enterprise, before student Jordan Kelley was flown to a hospital in Birmingham.
The death of Jordan Kelley is the second within the last two months for New Brockton High School.  Jordan Barefoot, 13, died in June 2014.
The death of Jordan Kelley is the second within the last two months for New Brockton High School. Jordan Barefoot, 13, died in June 2014.
"It's disappointing, and I hope for the best for his family," said New Brockton High School student Jacob Lindley, who had known Jordan Kelley since the fourth grade.

Fellow student Aaron Simon said Jordan’s absence will be felt around the school.  "It's really unfortunate because he was such a good kid, and you just hate to see anything like that happen to a person of his stature, because everywhere he’d go, you knew where he was at,” Simon said.

"I never saw Jordan without a smile on his face, you know, he was a kid always smiled at everybody.  He was a jokester," said former student Shay Hobbs, who graduated in May.

Those were just a few of many somber words from fellow and former New Brockton High School students, some of which attended elementary and junior high school with Jordan.

”Jordan was a kind, loveable kid.  Everywhere he went spoke with everybody.  He loved to see you in the hallway and shake your hand,” said student Clark Thompson.

"If you ever had a bad day, he's just light you up, put you in a good mood,” Zack Tidwell, another New Brockton High School student.

Jordan Kelly, 17, was rushed to the hospital last week after nearly drowning in Elba. Family and friends held out hope for a good outcome.  But Jordan did not survive.  He died in a Birmingham hospital over the weekend.

"It's still a shock, it's a tragic loss for New Brockton.  He was a kid that was well liked by his teachers and fellow classmates,” said Gray Harrison, principal of New Brockton High School.  He's one that was enjoyable to be around because of his attitude and his persona. Had a very good demeanor."

He says it will be a long road ahead as the community moves forward.

"It's going to be a hard loss.  I'm going to try to go today to speak with the mother to see what the plans and arrangements are.  We'll do something here for the students to get together and mourn the loss,” Harrison said.

Authorities say the preliminary cause of death is accidental drowning.

The death of Jordan Kelley is the second within the last two months for New Brockton High School.  Jordan Barefoot, 13, who had completed the 8th grade, died in June 2014.
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