The heart of the community has been torn asunder following the tragic loss of a Knox High School student. Andrew “Drew” Shearin was a 17-year-old junior whose life touched an unbelievable number of hearts before he was prematurely torn away from his family and friends, spurring an unbelievable amount of sorrow in the community.
“Drew was an extremely popular and engaging student and will be greatly missed by his peers, our staff, and the Knox community,” said Knox High School Principal Elizabeth Ratliff. “We also offer our heartfelt sympathies to the family for their loss.”
Drew was a drum major for the high school band and was also involved in theater at school, and he was awarded two Indiana Music Educators Association Awards for songs he composed entirely by himself, and he was also a member of the National Honors Society.
A candlelight vigil was held in his memory at the Knox High School band tower on Wednesday, drawing a crowd of hundreds. The night was lit up by a sea of candles, each flame burning bright and illuminating the tears on the faces of the many who had gathered together to celebrate the memory of Drew and support each other in dealing with this painful loss. Even amongst the sadness, a flicker of Drew’s humor shined through—many people in attendance donned fake moustaches, reminiscent of one of Drew’s many humorous experiences.
Not unlike the flames burning brightly the night of his vigil, Drew seemed to have a way of brightening up the life of anyone he spoke to. Officials at Knox High School describe Drew as an extremely talented and gifted student who was loved by his classmates.
“Drew was somebody I looked up to for his talent,” Band Director Craig Phipps said to the crowd that gathered at the vigil.
The Knox High School band has announced that they will be dedicating their regional competition on Saturday to Drew. Family and friends are also asking everyone who knew Drew to place a blue music note in the top left corner of their windshield in his remembrance, and a similar movement is taking place on Facebook with profile pictures being replaced with blue music notes or pictures of Drew.
Drew passed away just before 10 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10, the victim of a single-car accident on Ind. 8. The crash occurred east of the Yellow River Bridge, trapping him in the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have said that alcohol or drugs were not involved in the crash, but it is still under investigation.