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‘He was a joy to be around’: Loved ones remember 14-year-old killed in Bedford County crash

Khaleal’s funeral is set for noon Saturday at East Lake Community Church

A community is remembering a loved one taken too soon.
A community is remembering a loved one taken too soon.

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – A community is remembering a loved one taken too soon.

A 14-year-old boy lost his life in a Bedford County car crash over the weekend.

Those who knew Khaleal Coit describe him as a good friend, a great teammate and a fellow brother in Christ.

“He lit up the room when he walked in the door,” Melissa Hepler says. “He was always funny and always wanted to make you laugh. He was kind and witty.”

Hepler and her husband, Jason, are the youth group directors at the Lighthouse Bible Church, where Khaleal spent a lot of his time.

To the Hepler’s, Khaleal was joyful, a light, a jokester and so much more.

“I think that people didn’t realize how much of an impact he was on them, until now,” Jason says.

News of Khaleal’s passing came as a shock to many. especially his classmates, who’d become fond of the newcomer from West Virginia.

“We were carpool buddies. We road together every morning and evening,” classmate Madison Hutchinson says. “You get to know someone being in a car that much.”

The 14-year-old was a freshman at Smith Mountain Lake Christian School. He was a part of the basketball team and baseball team. His teammates describe him as a hard worker and an even better friend.

“In the tough times, he was there to make you laugh,” teammate Stacey Beverly says. “He was always there for you if you needed help.”

Those who attended the Lighthouse Bible Church with Khaleal say they’re finding peace in knowing his faith was strong.

“I guess don’t take things too serious. Don’t take it too serious in the realm of everything,” Khaleal’s basketball coach Mike Greathouse says. “Life should be fun, and I think he enjoyed life.”

And although gone too soon, his impact is just beginning.

“I hope God blesses all of us with an opportunity to have a Khaleal in our life,” Greathouse says. “He was a joy to be around.”

Khaleal’s funeral is set for noon Saturday at East Lake Community Church.


About the Author:

Kortney joined the 10 News team as a Lynchburg Bureau Reporter in May 2021.