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High School Tragedy in Florida
Submitted by Rich

Update 8/19/07:  Solved by Val the Nerdy Net Sleuth


Road:
                        Alongside Mondon Hill Road
Location:                  Brooksville, Florida
Victim:                    
  
Joseph W. Hall
Date of Accident:   
April 9, 2004… about 8:43 p.m. (NOTE: He died April 10th, the next day.)
Inscription:
              "In loving memory of
Joseph W. Hall.  We love you!"
Age:                                 18 (High school senior)

Description:           A heaping pile of crap, consisting of stuffed animals, flowers, candles, a football, and framed photo of the victim, envelops a small wooden cross.  A poster board lovingly decorated with glitter says farewell.

Analysis:                
Rich ran into this monument while on vacation in Florida in April 2004.  Thanks to Val, we have all the info about this tragic accident.      

According to Val:
 

"This one was a little tougher to find out who the cross was dedicated to, since there was no name or dates listed. There was a road named were the accident occurred though, and in this particular stretch of road, there has been many deaths, the citizens of the city have been fighting for a while citing how many fatalities have occurred on Mondon Hill Road in the last decade or so. So knowing that this guy was a high school student didn’t help too much, from what I dug up there has been a total of four kids from the same high school killed in auto fatalities in recent years, and oddly enough, all in 2004! Three of them were 16; one was a female so that was one easily eliminated as to the “owner” of this cross:  Eric Lee Cipolla, Tommy Gaulin and Carlee Horan. I figured since the evidence pointed to someone who was a senior in high school that they would be older (you had listed an age guess of 17 I think). Sure enough I found the one:  Joseph W. Hall, 18. The accident site, the age and all fit the criteria. But since there was no name listed, I was still unsure...until blowing up the photograph and reading some the the wishes left by mourners on the stuff left around the cross site. In the left corner of the sign in glued Mardi Gras bead necklaces it reads “Jas n Joe, BFF!” So at that point I knew which victim we had, is was indeed Joseph W. Hall.

Joseph Hall attended Hernando High School, and was an honor student and was on the Principal’s list. 

The white crosses were built by mourning students as tributes. The other students should have white crosses up somewhere in the area. I have a map below of all the accident sites if it helps anyone in Florida locate 'em. Some students went as far as getting tattoo memorials to the accident victims that year. 

He was driving a late model Pontiac at the time of the crash.  

Reason for accident:  He failed to negotiate a curve, hit a culvert, and the car rolled end over end. He was thrown from the vehicle (no seatbelts used I suppose) along with another passenger, a fifteen year old girl named Alyssa Jenkins. Both were injured, Alyssa had to be airlifted to a hospital but survived. Joe died from his injuries at the hospital (strangely enough named St. JOSEPH'S Hospital) the following day.

 Joe spoke fluent French.

 A list of recent auto fatalities on the road can be read about here, along with a map pinpointing the accident sites of each victim, including Joe's: 

http://www.sptimes.com/2004/04/21/Hernando/Driver_s_failure_to_m.shtml

Here is a link to an obituary about Joseph:

http://www.sptimes.com/Obits/Detail.do?id=70029

He may have played football, though I’m not sure…you know how people who leave memorial gifts are, sometimes they have a personal connection, and sometimes the “gift” has little to do with the deceased. But if he did play football, he  seemed to enjoy baseball more, according to all I’ve read about him...he definitely played baseball."

More Images:   Photo Two - Photo Three - Photo Four

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