Franklin residents come together over teen deaths

Franklin residents have hung blue ribbons as a show of support.
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The Franklin community gathered Wednesday to say goodbye to a teenager who drowned while trying to save a friend.

Jason Moran, 17, is one of two Franklin High School students who lost their lives trying to rescue 16-year-old Sarah McLevish. McLevish became trapped near a dam while swimming in the Big Blue River in Edinburgh.

Michael Chadbourne, 16, died Monday, three days after the accident.

The town of Franklin has bonded together because of the tragedy. Residents have frequented the swimming hole where the accident happened for generations.

"Everybody is pulling together. Everybody. The entire community of Franklin. There is a blue ribbon everywhere you go. Fire trucks have ribbons on them," said Ray Melton. "Everyone is reaching out on Facebook to the family and the t-shirts, it is my understanding being sold now. We are all pulling together we are pretty close knit around here. It's tragic. I have kids obviously. They were just kids out having a good time and tragedy struck."

"When something like this happens in our community, our community just comes together. As a parent myself, I just feel for those parents that have lost their babies. I cant imagine losing my child as a teenager," said Marissa Farley. "We are right here on 31 and get a lot of exposure and we figured we would see some of the parents of the kids would drive by and see they are not alone."

The community was preparing for Wednesday's memorial service for Moran when news of Chadbourne's passing spread.

"I was out mowing the grass and this teenager was hanging ribbons on the poles out here and I called him over and was talking to him briefly and had him hang one on the mailbox. That is when he told me that Michael had died," Melton said.

Funeral services for Chadbourne are still pending.