Friends, families finding consolation online

MOORE HAVEN — Many friends of the three young men killed last week in a crash outside town turned to social media for group comfort.

Joshua Deese, who attended school and played football in Moore Haven with Dustin Chapman and Charlie Ford, was a close friend to those two, but said he did not know Easton Moss.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
Charlie Ford (left) and Dustin Chapman were close friends.

Mr. Deese posted on his Facebook page: “At a complete loss for words this morning. Woke up to the awful news that Dustin Chapman and Charlie Ford passed away in a tragic car accident. You two were always so kind and friendly to me, and helped make my time at Moore Haven great. This is a devastating loss to the surrounding community. You will be greatly missed, friends. Rest In Peace.”

A “Forever in Our Hearts” meme was posted by Paula and Eddie Sapp and, when she said she did not know who’d created what she called “a beautiful tribute to these fine young men,” it was revealed by a commenter to have been done by Joshua Lourente Perkins Bettard, who was “friends with them all.”

CenterState LaBelle Branch used a full printed version of the icon in midweek to announce the bank is accepting donations for a fund to benefit the families of Easton Moss, Charlie Ford and Dustin Chapman.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/
This meme was credited to Joshua Lourente Perkins Bettard.

Friend William Mercer wrote, “I remember riding around Moore Haven with Charlie Ford & Dustin Chapman with this song on repeat.” He put up a video on his page of Mr. Chapman strumming a guitar and singing the song “Wagon Wheel,” and added this remark: “This one’s for the three most kindhearted people I’ve ever met. You guys will forever be missed.”

Michelle Harper, exalted ruler of the Lake Okeechobee Elks Lodge, reposted a group of photos put up on Facebook July 24 by Carrie Griffis Hobbs, from when the U.S. 27 roadside memorial was created.

“Hometown love and respect” was their message; the huge American flag in the center of Moore Haven was photographed fluttering at half-staff; and the three enduring emblems of remembrance were in place by sunset. They later had to be moved. See photo on Page 23.

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