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Chiles community grieves loss of student Caden Staats, Makayla Campa on life support

Staats and Campa were in an accident on Meridian Road early Monday morning
Posted at 11:14 PM, Apr 01, 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Chiles JV basketball Coach Eli Phillips taught Caden Staats as a player and a person.

"He was respectful. I knew he was going to do great things in this world," said Phillips.

Remembered as a friend to many Timberwolves, Staats was known for his kind spirit.

"He was just a lovable guy," said Phillips.

A car crash early Monday took Staats life and left his girlfriend, Makayla Campa, brain dead and on life support.

Staats and Campa were two of three people in the car that crashed into a tree along Meridian Road.

Chiles teacher and Leon County Commissioner, Brian Welch has been helping students grieve all week.

"As you can imagine it's incredibly somber, young people are extremely sensitive to loss like that," said Welch.

Welch says counselors are available for students who need help.

ABC 27 spoke to a Tallahassee therapist and asked what could be best right now.

"One thing I think is important is for the kids to get together, is to share their grief. They can do it in little groups of friends, they can do it as a big group, they can do both of those things," said Lee's Place President and Therapist Brenda Rabalais.

School staff said there have been moments of silence during school events, all to help the community heal.

Campa family spokesperson Amanda Osborn released a statement saying in part:

"The family of Makayla Campa would like to thank the community for all the love and support that has been poured into their lives. We would like to continue to lift up all the families involved in this tragedy."

For now, they're keeping Makayla on life support so she can become an organ donor.

Giving life to other patients in need.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to Caden's mother, brother, entire family and his girlfriend Makayla and her mother," Phillip said.

As the community works on a way to support them too.

ABC 27 is still working to confirm how the crash happened.

We're told that the third person involved in the crash received minor injuries.