Family, friends mourn the loss of Cookeville teens killed in weekend crash

Local News

Cameron Groves is still in shock after the sudden death of his cousin 16-year-old Layton Proffitt.

“It was really disbelief,” Groves said. “Like you don’t think it’ll happen to you. You’re just like there’s no way.”

Layton and his girlfriend, 17-year-old Leigh Anne Elridge, died in a car crash Friday night. 

State troopers say Layton was driving when the car veered off the road, overturned, then crashed into a tree. 

“I was just kind of confused and didn’t really believe it,” Groves said. 

Layton and Leigh Anne were both juniors at Cookeville High School. The school honored their memories with a vigil and balloon release Saturday night.

“Just going to school and thinking he’s there, but he’s not really there,” Groves said. “Going to lunch and him not being there is gonna be hard.”

Putnam County Schools Superintendent Jerry Boyd released a statement saying in part: 

“We grieve for the loss of these young lives. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family, friends, students, staff and community members impacted by this tragic event…”

Boyd says Leigh Anne played in the school band and wanted to be a teacher. Layton was a football player and wanted to be a mechanic after going to college. 

“He was probably the most energetic, positive person I’ve ever met,” Groves said. “Nothing ever got to him.” 

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