A community united in grief

EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY – Roger Sheridan was in a state of disbelief, standing outside of the New Caney Family Worship Center on FM 1485 Saturday night where children and adults gathered at a candlelight vigil to remember Kendrick Owens. The 13-year-old was killed by a hit and run driver Saturday morning as he walked with Sheridan’s son, Jared.

A photo of Owens was shown on a large screen at the front of the room where the vigil was held. Beneath his name were his birth date, October 25, 1996 and date of death March 6, 2010. Some wept openly and some held one another tightly, while some stood in the back or off to the sides of the room, staring quietly at Owens’ photo, at the floor or at nothing in particular.

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Roger Sheridan stood outside, saying he kept thinking he would “wake up.” Less than 24 hours earlier, he was hosting a sleepover where his son, Owens, and other boys were laughing, playing cards, and watching television. He said they had a huge homemade breakfast that morning and his son, Jared, and Owens were walking to Keefer Crossing Middle School to meet Owens’ mother when tragedy struck.

The seventh-grader was approached outside of the church by Aubrey LaBuff, the wrecker driver who witnessed the hit and run and followed the driver. LaBuff praised Jared Sheridan for how he reacted to what happened. Instead of falling apart or running away, Jared Sheridan saw his injured friend and immediately used the skateboard he was holding to flag down a vehicle for help. LaBuff saw the boy’s response in his rear view mirror and made a point of finding him at the vigil and shaking his hand.

When asked to describe Owens, Jared Sheridan said simply, “He was a good friend and I’ll always miss him.”
Roger Sheridan called Owens a “downright good kid,” who was involved in church, made good grades, and was well-mannered.

Likewise, Youth Pastor Eric Scott said Owens had “an infectious personality,” and was a “fantastic kid who was always making people laugh.”

Scott said with 140 to 170 kids in his youth group each week, it can be difficult to remember every name and every face, but not Kendrick’s.

“He was one that stood out here,” Scott said. “Kendrick always had a smile on his face, he was always having a good time – he was one of those kids that chose to be happy.”

Scott said one need only look around at the numerous young people attending the quickly arranged vigil to see how many lives Kendrick Owens touched. The youth pastor said he hoped the tragedy would also touch lives and make someone think twice before drinking and driving.

Members of Montgomery County Hospital District EMS and the New Caney Fire Department, who responded the scene, also attended the vigil.

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  1. mrs.michaels

    I have not seen Kendrick since he was a baby in a high chair. I am so sorry to hear about this. May God comfort Rhonda and Keith (his parents) now.

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