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Firefighters, friends and classmates remember Ramseur teen killed in crash

RAMSEUR, N.C. -- An aspiring teenage firefighter was killed just a couple of miles from his home in Randolph County.

Police say 16-year-old Jeremiah York was speeding and not wearing a seat belt when he crashed on Old Siler City Road on Sunday night.

He was on his way home from church.

"He gave it his all, all the time. He was always training," said Nick Leonard, a firefighter at the Ramseur Fire Department.

He says he just enjoyed watching York's pure determination.

"He would actually keep a pair of his own personal jeans wrapped around his own personal boots," Leonard said. "So in the middle of the night, he could jump up and be ready to go."

Forty-eight hours after York crashed, Leonard and the other firefighters are honoring him.

"It's hitting everyone real tough," he explains.

The flag outside of the fire station is at half-staff to remember York.

"This truck is our first out truck and by far is Jeremiah's favorite. By far," said Leonard, inside the fire truck bay. "This seat is where he always sat. So what we've done is put his gear there and we put it in his favorite seat."

A parking space at Chatham Charter School, just 15 minutes away, will never be filled again.

"He was a special young man. You just knew from his personality," said Beth McCullough, the executive director of Chatham Charter High School.

She says that the school will not re-assign York's parking space on campus. They plan to get a sign to memorialize the spot.

This is the first death of an active student that Chatham Charter has had to deal with.

She and a few of York's close friends joined together at the Moon's Chapel Baptist Church to pray for strength.

There, they shared why York was the light of their lives.

"He was a really good person. Like he would hang out with everyone," said Christopher McCleod, a close friend. "He'd talk to everyone. It didn't matter who you were. It's just sad."

York's death is now a tragic lesson and reminder that they'll continue to take with them.

"I was just heartbroken. Heartbroken," said Luke Fuller, another friend of York's. "It was really eye opening for me, especially because I'm guilty of speeding a little bit myself. But it made me realize things really do happen. It's not just on TV or the internet."

A community vigil, arranged by Chatham Charter students, Ramseur firefighters, and family and friends, will be held at Moon's Chapel Baptist Church on Tuesday at 8 p.m.

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