Father who lost teen son in Mandarin crash: 'We'll never be the same'

by: Leslie Coursey Updated:

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Heartache for a local family who lost their son in a weekend car accident. Larry Schaub choked back tears Monday, devastated by the loss of his son, Garrett.

"He was fun-loving, energetic. Just brightened every room. Witty. Great kid," he said.

Garrett, 13, was killed early Sunday in a crash on Mandarin Road. Schaub said the family had just returned from vacation and that Garrett sneaked out of the house with three friends -- friends the family knew very well.

"I trusted them," said Schaub. "And I've been told he was a great driver. There was obviously some bad choices that night."

Police said it appears alcohol and speed played a role in the crash. The car slammed into an oak tree. Only one of the four kids inside the car was not seriously hurt. Police said he was the only one wearing a seat belt.

Garrett was the youngest of four boys.  The family is still trying to come to terms with what happened.

"We're going take it day by day. We'll never be the same," said Schaub.

Garrett would have been a student at Mandarin High School next month.

No charges have been filed.  The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating.

Jill Leslie, with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, told Action News now is a good time for parents to talk to their children about drinking and driving.

"Two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime. It's just startling, stunning to me," she said.  "This situation is 100 percent preventable."