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Students gather to mourn death of Sandy High student

Jordan Cox, 16, died in a crash Friday night on Highway 26


by: JIM CLARK - Sandy High School student Madysen Merrera holds a sign honoring Jordan Cox, who was killed in a traffic accident on Friday

Sandy High School students quietly and somberly filed onto campus early Monday morning, hundreds draped in neon shirts and reconvening for the first time since a recent tragedy.

Outside the school they met, to hug, to cry, to share memories. And while they did, clouds began to break. On a day of mourning, students gazed at a neon-looking sun, a moving reminder of 16-year-old Jordan Cox, who died Friday night when the pickup he was driving collided with another truck on Highway 26 near Firwood Road east of Sandy.

Cox died at the scene of the accident.

The occupants of the other vehicle were identified as Sandy residents Rhonda Abbett, 43, and Rochelle Buchanan, 17. Both received possible injuries, but neither was taken to a hospital.

Oregon State Police said the accident happened at about 7 p.m. The highway was closed, and traffic was detoured around the accident.

State troopers said Cox apparently was stopped on Firwood Road and attempting to cross the eastbound lanes of Highway 26 to turn west when he pulled into the path of an eastbound pickup pulling a trailer. The eastbound pickup, driven by Abbett, crashed into the driver’s side of the other pickup.

Oregon State Police and the Portland Area Command officer are still investigating the crash.by: JIM CLARK - Sandy High students gathered in front of the school Monday afternoon for a photo in remembrance of Jordan Cox.

Cox, a junior, attended Estacada High School before transferring to Sandy High School this year. He also attended Firwood Elementary and Cedar Ridge Middle schools.

On Monday, students at Sandy, Estacada and elsewhere honored Cox by wearing neon colors, and after school, many of his friends gathered in front of Sandy High for a picture.

Kneeling in the middle of the picture was Chelsea Cox, Jordan’s sister, who was uplifted by the moment in a time of sorrow.

“It’s been hard, but it means a lot, just because I know there’s a lot of support and a lot of friends and so many people who loved him,” she said. “He was a good kid. He meant a lot to everybody.”

The idea for the neon tribute started on Facebook where people have been using social media as a forum to offer condolences, share memories and organize memorial services.

The groups called “Remembering Jordan Cox” and “RIP Jordan Cox,” created by Dakota Proctor, who first met Cox in middle school, has already received hundreds of followers.

“Even though I didn’t know him very well, I’m doing it for Jordan,” said Proctor, a Sandy High sophomore. “Not only did I go to school with him, but I knew a lot of people that knew him, that were really close to him. So I wanted to make a way for people to remember how he lived his life.”

Extra counselors were at Sandy High School on Monday, and students are still organizing tributes to take place this week.