It takes a village to raise a child. And that village morns together when something awful happens to that child. That’s what’s happening in Blue Ridge and Telephone and Windom and Wylie as these communities morn the loss of four North Central Texas College softball players who were killed in a bus crash in Oklahoma Friday night. To all those families, friends and communities who are grieving, we grieve with you.

It takes a village to raise a child. And that village morns together when something awful happens to that child. That’s what’s happening in Blue Ridge and Telephone and Windom and Wylie as these communities morn the loss of four North Central Texas College softball players who were killed in a bus crash in Oklahoma Friday night. To all those families, friends and communities who are grieving, we grieve with you.


Brooke Deckard, 20, of Blue Ridge; Jaiden Pelton, 20, of Telephone; Katelynn Woodlee, 18, of Windom; and Meagan Richardson, 19, of Wylie were all killed in the crash that occurred near Davis, Okla. as the team traveled back from a game in Bethany, Okla. By all accounts, these women were spectacular on and off the field.


Brooke Deckard was "the sweetest person I’ve ever known," Brenna Kinser wrote in a statement on Twitter. "Always had something positive to say about everyone."


"That’s my 3! Always in my heart," Melanie Phillips Cranford wrote in a Facebook comment about a 2013 photo of Jaiden Pelton wearing her No. 3 Sam Rayburn High School jersey.


"She had one of the absolute best personalities that you could ever imagine," Billy Pilkinton, 19, told NBC News of his friend Katelynn Woodlee. "Every time she’s around, you couldn’t stop smiling. She just had that effect on people."


Brooke Elkins, one of Meagan Richardson’s friends, told the Dallas Morning News, "If you were loved by Megan you were loved. She would do anything for you in a heartbeat, and she would drop anything in a second for you."


When someone dies unexpectedly, it’s almost always tragic, but when it is 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds who had bright futures ahead of them it becomes something for which there are no words. Sometimes all there is to do is sit quietly with those who have been left behind.


So for the friends and families and communities touched by these young women, we have our arms around you, the entire Texoma region is sitting quietly by your side, and we’re praying for you.