Mourning the death of one of their classmates, the Cherokee High School Seniors donated approximately $4000 to the family of Payten Vaughn, who was killed in a car wreck Sunday, May 6 on Highway 16 south at the Buffalo Creek Crossing.
According to the San Saba County Sheriff, San Saba County Sheriff’s Office, Texas DPS Troopers, and San Saba Fire/Rescue and EMS responded to the scene. The vehicle, a 1999 silver extended cab Ford pickup, had missed the guardrail and struck a large tree on the west side of the roadway. The truck, driven by Nathanial Keith Carpenter, was traveling south on Highway 16, when it missed the curve, traveled the shoulder of the roadway and then struck the tree. The passenger, Payten Dwayne Vaughn, 19 years old, was killed instantly. Carpenter was transported to Llano ER where he was treated and later released.
Peter was scheduled to graduate with his eleven classmates on May 25. The seniors decided to give all of the money from the class’ Project Graduation fund to the family to help defray the cost of Peter’s funeral and to help the family to take additional days off from work in order to grieve.
The class has spent the last four years raising this money, and met the day of the accident and voted to give all of it to the Vaughn Family
Five of the eleven remaining graduating seniors are children who are residents at Cherokee Home for Children. This is a residential facility for children who are victims of family distress and needing an alternative place to live during the time of their family crisis. For a majority of these children from the home, their graduation presents would come from Project Graduation.
Cherokee is proud of these seniors who put others in front of themselves, even if it meant sacrificing one of the best nights of their life.