A 16-year-old boy was killed this evening when the car he was driving ran off the road and struck a tree on Highway 79. Brandon Ray Tingle of Old Dixiana Road was pronounced dead on the scene after the 7 p.m. wreck, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department. Tingle was the only occupant in the 2006 Nissan Sentra.
Brandon Tingle’s most recent yearbook photo shows a smiling, dark-haired boy. One of the people who knew him best said he had two great loves in life: his grandmother who was raising him and cars. Sandi Tracy is a counselor at Rudd Middle School, which Brandon attended until last year. She said, “where everybody else was more concerned about what type of clothes to wear the next day or other typical middle shcool stuff, Brandon just wanted to work on cars.
Brandon was headed north on Highway 79 in his 2006 Nissan Sentra Thursday night, when he ran off the road about half a mile north of Highway 151. The car hit a tree, and the 16-year old was killed. As word spread through Pinson Valley High, where he began classes as a freshman two weeks ago, students began seeking out counselor Elaine Haskins. Haskins said, “our role here is just to provide that safe place where they can go, so they can show their emotions, whatever those are, share their memories, whatever they may be.
Haskins invited the freshmen to gather in an area, known at Pinson Valley High as “the Commons.” She handed out markers and paper and asked the students to write messages to Brandon and his family The messages were to go up on the walls around the freshmen lockers, and later, given to his grandmother. As the students worked on them at the school, someone else paid another form of tribute – a bouquet of pink roses laid at the base of the tree where Brandon died.