Jackson County

Ocean Springs grad killed near school ‘was a good kid, a good person’

Graham Kyle Lance was killed in a one-car wreck early Thursday morning south of Ocean Springs High School, where he graduated in May.
Graham Kyle Lance was killed in a one-car wreck early Thursday morning south of Ocean Springs High School, where he graduated in May.

The driver and one passenger remain hospitalized after a single-car wreck that killed one Ocean Springs teenager early Thursday morning.

Calvin Butler, 22, of Pascagoula, a passenger, and Seth McGee, 18, the driver, were listed in stable condition at Ocean Springs Hospital on Friday.

Graham Kyle Lance, 18, died at the scene after he and Butler were thrown from the car.

Sheriff’s officers said the silver Mustang was traveling south of Ocean Springs High School on Belle Fontaine Road at a high rate of speed, left the road, flipped and hit a tree.

You couldn’t spend time with Graham without leaving with a smile ... you felt better about your day.

Ocean Springs High School Assistant Principal Justin Sutton

They say the Mustang wrecked approaching a curve on Belle Fontaine about a half-mile south of the school. The car traveled about 200 yards before turning over and hitting the tree.

Lance, described by his assistant principal as “just a good kid, a good person,” graduated from Ocean Springs High School in May. He was in the career and technical program.

His graduation was such a success story, according to Lori Brennan, an OSHS lead teacher who advocated for him and worked with him academically.

His father was diagnosed with cancer and died in Lance’s last years of high school. It was a difficult time for him.

Brennan said any struggles he had with academics had a lot to do with what was going on in his life and “typical teenage behavior. He had such a good heart and so much potential.”

Brennan, who worked with Lance for three years, said he had a sweet and supportive mom. Brennan said she remembers graduation night with Lance.

She said that “at practice the morning of graduation, he walked up to me and said, ‘Look Ms. Brennan, I did it.’ I said, ‘We’ll see tonight when you actually do.’

“When he was on that stage, getting the diploma, I was at the edge, and he walked up to me and gave me the biggest bear hug and said, ‘Thank you.’

“When I found out what happened, I was devastated. He really touched my heart. He liked to joke. He was a happy-go-lucky guy with his friends.”

Karen Nelson: 228-896-2310, @NelsonNews_atSH

Sun Herald reporter Jeff Clark contributed to this report.

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