Sumrall mourns loss of high school senior

Sumrall mourns loss of high school senior
Brandon Cleckler. Source: Family photo

SUMRALL, MS (WDAM) - Members of the Sumrall community and students at Sumrall High School spent the day mourning the loss of one of their own.

Brandon Cleckler, 18, a senior at Sumrall High School was killed in a single-vehicle wreck Sunday afternoon on Mississippi 42 near the Forrest-Lamar County line.

Lamar County Superintendent Tess Smith said the district spent the day providing counselors and assistance to any student or faculty in need.

"It truly is a tragedy anytime something happens to one of our students, it is something that we all feel and we all then try to do anything we can to help," said Smith.

Cleckler was described by many as cheerful, fun and always with a smile according to Smith.

"There was just something about Cleckler, he could be in a room with a hundred people and you were going to know that he was there, he was just…that kinda guy," said Smith. "He was very well known in our community in Sumrall, and everyone who knew him liked him, I mean you just couldn't help you know but like him….he was just a big ole loveable guy."

Cleckler was also a member of the Sumrall High School football team, where he played center and nose guard for the Bobcats.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper Brent Barfield said Cleckler was killed when his vehicle, a 2008 Nissan Altima left the roadway and struck a pair of trees. He was not wearing his seat belt and was ejected during the crash according to Barfield.

He was pronounced dead at the scene around 2 p.m. according to Lamar County Coroner Cody Creel.

Smith said that Sumrall High School has a memorial rock garden that has engraved stones in remembrance of lost classmates.

"One of the first things I thought today was, unfortunately there is going to be another stone added to that garden, which is just so heart breaking," said Smith. "If you care about somebody let them know, because you may not get that chance again the next day and always show kindness to others," said Smith.

Funeral arrangements:

Brandon Cleckler's visitation will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church of Sumrall and noon on Wednesday, followed by a service at 2 p.m. at the church.