Emotional ceremony honors Daniel Boone’s Kaylee Rabun, victim of I-81 crash

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GRAY, TN (WJHL) – The Daniel Boone High School community came together Friday, Boone Strong, to honor one of their own, Kaylee Rabun.

football-game-3Rabun was killed in a car accident off of I-81 in Morristown on Saturday Sept. 10, her 16th birthday.

The Daniel Boone volleyball and football team joined hand in hand before Friday’s football game against Tennessee High, holding 16 balloons to represent her years on earth. They prayed together and raised their hands in the number three, her volleyball jersey number.

Daniel Boone Principal, Tim Campbell said this community support is unparalleled.

“We are just amazed by the support we’ve gotten. Our teachers and our students have banded together and we are in the healing process,” Campbell said.

Her teammates can’t deny she was aggressive on the court but she was always supportive and loving.

“She kept us going, yeah she did, she was one of the strongest girls I’ve ever met, ever played with, and she was always there to pick you up when you were down on yourself,” Mackenzie Carrier said.football-game-4

Carrier said she feels blessed to have a loving community of football players as well as community members around their team during this difficult time and to never take anything or anyone for granted.

“We really are family and they have been there for us throughout this entire thing, hand in hand, just like that. We’ve learned that people might not be here tomorrow so hug them really tight today,” Carrier said.

Rabun’s boyfriend and Daniel Boone football player, Ryan Sanders, was injured in the crash. Daniel Boone quarterback, Noah Shelton, said this difficult time makes their team work harder.

“It’s motivated our team to live every moment as if its going to be your last, play every game like it’s going to be your last, every down,” Shelton said.

Shelton said Rabun and Sanders were the perfect couple.

“They were the epitome I think they were perfect together, always smiling, always happy, there was nobody better in the school than those two,” Shelton said.

Samantha Channell helped sell #BooneStrong bracelets at the game and she said wearing the bracelet touches her deeply because she knew Rabun.

“It makes me want to cry honestly, because I personally did know Kaylee. She was a light in our classroom and she was a great person to be around,” Channell said.

She’s comforted in her belief that Kaylee is in a better place.football-game-2

“Heaven gained a bright star,” Channell said.

Ryan Sanders who was injured in that crash was just moved from Johnson City Medical Center to Quillen rehab center.

The Daniel Boone Trailblazers beat the Tennessee High Vikings 46-29.

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