Perdue was a senior at Riverside High School and Roush was a 2013 graduate. The two had known each other and shared many friends, and were not the first RHS students to die in vehicle crashes in the last six months. In July, Colin Qualls, 16, of Glasgow, died after a car he was riding in crashed through a fence, took out a gas line and hit concrete steps near Hugheston. In May, Patrick Petry, 16, of Ohley, died after a dirt bike accident.
"For kids who are driving, it's time to slow down," James said. "It's time to slow down in life and look at what you have around you. Think about what's important. The cell phones, the computer, the rat race of the world -- it'll still be there. Please, slow down, and tell your loved ones you love them. We are not promised tomorrow; we are not promised the next breath that we take."
Perdue was an assistant coach for the Miners. According to James, Perdue was hard working and lively, and one of the best kids he had ever met.
"He was so humble," said Elisabeth Wright, 17. "He'd do anything for anybody. I met him in elementary school, and our families were pretty close. His family felt like my family. He was just so caring, and so humble. He'd do anything for you, whether he knew you or not. He stopped on the side of the road one day, where some old man's lawn mower had flipped over, and he stopped to help him, even though he didn't know him."
Kaylyn Carroll, 16, who was Perdue's cousin and had been friends with Roush since she was in the 6th grade, said "Mason was outgoing, quiet, he loved to hunt -- he was just the perfect country boy," Carroll said. "He was an awesome kid. He never did anything wrong. We've lost four people this year. It just all happened so quickly -- back to back.
"I have my license now, and I just want to be careful in the car, because I know that if anything happens, it could kill two people that I love or hurt somebody."
Reach Lydia Nuzum at lydia.nu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.