Blake Shelton knows the pain of losing a loved one in a car accident, so wanted to help others facing the same tragedy.
The country star, 41, sent a one-minute video message to the mourning students of Quaboag Regional Middle and High School in Warren, Massachusetts, a week after three students were killed in a tragic car crash on Nov. 7.
“Hey guys, this is Blake Shelton here. I’m out in the middle of the woods in Oklahoma. I was just made aware of the car accident and, man, it breaks my heart. I completely know how it feels,” The Voice star said in the footage, which he recorded on the anniversary of the car crash death of his brother Richie.
Richie was killed in the crash on Nov. 13, 1990, in Shelton’s home state of Oklahoma. He was 24 and Blake was 14-years-old at the time.
“I lost my brother in a car accident. I can understand how you guys feel, it’s the worst possible feeling,” the seven-time Grammy nominee said in the clip, which was part of a larger tribute video to the victims. “It’s confusion, it’s anger, it’s just an overall brokenness. It’s just gonna take a lot of time to heal and if you can find comfort in anything, it’s just knowing that they’re all in a better place now and God has a plan.”
Concluding, “I still miss my brother every day, and you’re gonna miss those guys every day. I just wanted to say I’m thinking of you and it gets easier, it just takes a long time. But just always honor their memory and never forget about them. God bless you guys. I’m praying for you.”
The singer was alerted to the tragedy by a family member of someone on the school’s committee.
Three weeks ago, Lena Noonan, 16, Christian Congelos, 15, and Jaclyn Desrosiers, 14, were traveling on Douglas Road near the school, located approximately 70 miles outside of Boston, when their car struck a tree and rolled over, according to multiple local news outlets.
All three teens were pronounced dead at the scene.
Congelos and Desrosiers were a couple, and Noonan was Desrosiers’ good friend.
“This has been a difficult day for all of our schools,” district superintendent Brett Kustigian said in a statement on Facebook. “Quaboag is a small, tight-knit community where everyone knows each other and a tragedy of this magnitude affects all of us. Grief counselors were on hand at all of our schools today and counseling will remain in place until further notice. We are here to support our students, our staff and our families in every way possible.”
Also in the district newsletter, Kustigian wrote: “November 7th will never be the same for any of us.”
Congelos was a student-athlete who played baseball and basketball in addition to being the goalie on his school’s varsity soccer team, according to tributes shared on social media.
His girlfriend Derosiers was a National Honor Society student involved in extracurricular activities such as Student Council, track and cross country. A GoFundMe account was created for donations towards burial costs for the Derosiers family.
Noonan was a member of the high school’s basketball team.
A separate GoFundMe account was made to benefit all three families.