Daphne High School's principal released a statement Friday:
Dear Daphne Family,
It is with a heavy heart that I address you all this evening. Last night, Dalton DeFilippi, Class of 2022, was tragically lost in an unfortunate accident. Dalton was set to begin his junior year at Daphne High School this fall. He was a spirited young man, a dedicated athlete, and, above all, he was a cherished part of our family. As we all grieve this loss, it is our prayer that you find comfort in our community and solace in knowing you all shared in Dalton’s life. We extend our deepest condolences to the DeFilippi family and Dalton’s friends. As we return to school within the next few weeks, we understand this loss may intensify and a noticeable piece of the DHS Family will be missing. We are committed to supporting you all during this season and honoring Dalton’s life and time as a Trojan. He truly made each day at DHS brighter - we hope you all will carry on Dalton’s zeal for life and love for his fellow classmates.
“There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone the light remains.” – Unknown
Three Daphne area teenagers were involved in a one-car accident Thursday. The car they were traveling in struck a tree.
It happened at Baldwin County Road 54 near Newport Lane. One of the teens, a Daphne High School student, died as a result of the crash.
The accident site is now a memorial, and a local pastor who witnessed the accident left a note behind Friday. He says he prayed with the family.
"It hasn't been even 24 hours, so it's hard to believe that this has even happened," said Jourdain Thrash, the student pastor at Three Circle Church in Daphne.
Thrash says other teens have come seeking comfort at the church.
He confirms two of his students, Dalton Defilippi and standout football player Bryson Cleveland, were involved in the accident. He says both students went to Daphne High School. Defilippi, unfortunately, did not make it.
"For a lot of them, the last time they've gotten to spend time with Dalton or Bryson was as far back as in March. You know, it is really hard right now because the freshest memory you have with them is an older one," said Thrash.
State Troopers say there were three passengers in the car. The driver, a 16-year-old, was not wearing a seat belt.
All of this comes on the heels of another tragic accident involving local teens just last month.
Three young men, a Spanish Fort High School student and two Baldwin County High School students, died in a similar accident near Bay Minette on June 22.
Thrash has a message for all parents dealing with the tragedy of a young person gone to soon:
"Just listen. Be there, and let them know they are not alone. I really think right now, during this time, that's the biggest thing they need," said Thrash.
Students and friends gathered for a prayer service at Three Circle Church Friday.