WEDDINGTON, N.C. -- An entire Weddington High School community is continuing to say goodbye to a local teen killed in a crash this past weekend.
Riley Laymon, a junior, died Friday night after the truck he was in overturned on Antioch Church Road. A friend from school was driving and three other teens were also passengers, all on their way to grab pizza on a Friday night.
On Tuesday morning the students met at the school flag pole to say a morning prayer. They had breakfast together and all went as a group to Laymon's funeral at Elevation Church - Matthews Campus.
It is the first ever funeral at Elevation Church- Matthews Campus, and more than 1,000 of Laymon's friends and family members attended. One family friend, Brock Luginbill, flew in from Ecuador to attend the funeral. Last year, Laymon had traveled on mission work to Ecuador.
"Riley came down with his family [to Ecuador] just last summer. A lot of the friends Riley met [in Ecuador] wrote on his facebook and are praying," said Luginbill.
Laymon's parents, Tom and Lisa Laymon, also spoke at the funeral.
"We love Riley more than life. We cared for him. We protected him," said Tom Laymon, his father.
Friends talked about Laymon and couldn’t help but smile.
“He smiled a lot. He always smiled. It rubbed off on everybody,” said classmate Grayson Pohs.
The others in the car were hurt, but will be OK. There is a growing memorial for Laymon in the school parking lot where he used to park.
“His hugs, his hugs were like magic,” said another friend, Trevor Woodworth.
A few weeks ago there was a six-car fender bender.
“He was the first person to come out and make sure we were alright,” Pohs said. “He ran over to us to make sure we were all OK, every single person. Are you alright. Are you alright?”
That's the thing about Riley, they say. He just had a way about him.
“I saw him every day. It’s not going to be easy. Just remembering him for the great guy he was makes it so much easier,” Woodworth said.
They're also hoping other teens are paying attention. All but one of the friends was thrown from the truck. The only one who stayed put was wearing her seatbelt.