Somber Start to School Year in Byron

Posted at: 09/03/2013 6:41 PM
By: Brianna Long

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It is the first day of school for students across the area, but it's a bittersweet day for one local high school. As students pulled up to Byron High School Tuesday morning, they were greeted with a familiar sight, the Byron Bear, their mascot. But it looked a little different for the first day of school. A single, purple ribbon was tied around the bear's neck, in memory of DJ Logan.

"It's just awesome. The purple ribbon around it just adds character and it shows that she's still there, watching over us," said Nikki Logan, DJ's cousin and best friend. She says the day she found out DJ was killed is still a painful memory.

"It was the hardest day of my life," said Nikki.

The accident happened on the first day of school last year. DJ had been texting and driving, when she rear-ended a school bus.

"It's terrible to see it when it happens to anybody. We're hoping that it never happens again," said Vince Scheckel, with the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office.

As kids get in their cars, and head back to school, authorities are hoping they think of what happened to DJ, and remember to not text and drive.

"I hope they realize it's important to shut your cell phone off, or put it out of your reach so you're not able to access it and be tempted to use a cell phone," said Scheckel

It's a reminder that hits too close to home for Nikki.

"We have these bracelets to help us remember. It says I promise not to text and drive. And it has her name on it. In memory of DJ. So that's a good remembrance of it, not to do it," said Nikki.

Bracelets, a ribbon, and the memory of a life, cut far too short.

"Pay attention when you're operating a vehicle. It's hurts losing somebody," said Nikki.

The actual anniversary of that accident is Wednesday. So it's definitely a difficult time of year for DJ's friends, family, and the community of Byron.