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Driver in crash that killed Cameron Snead speaks; teammates honor memory

GRANGER, Ind. -

16-year-old Cameron Snead’s teammates honored his memory today at their first game since he died. The driver of the car involved in the crash spoke exclusively with ABC 57’s Jess Arnold for the first time since the accident.

Snead was killed in a car crash back in December when the car he was riding in slid off the snowy road and into a tree.

“It means a lot just to be out here. It’s been a while. We’ve all you know been sad, but now it’s our time to come out here and just make him proud,” said Griffin Smith, captain for the Granger Panthers wiffle ball team.

The Panthers played their first game since Snead died Sunday.

“I wish he was still out there,” said Cameron’s mother, Rachel Bortone.

The driver of that car survived.

“All I remember is turning onto Bryce to see the road sign, and after that I don’t remember anything. Woke up in the hospital and found out,” said the driver, Brandon Campbell.

“I instantly broke down into tears, thinking it was my fault, and they came in, the grandparents came in and they said it’s not your fault you can’t blame yourself,” he said.

Five months later, a commemorative cross made out of wiffle ball bats still covers the base of the tree where Cameron was killed.

“It’s surreal, just going out there, you know that’s the last place I saw him,” said Campbell.

16-year-old Brandon Campbell is grieving for his best friend with a smile on his face.

“You know, there’s nothing you can go back and change, so why be sad about it? He’s up there in a better place. He’s doing what he wants to do. I’m just down here living for him, showing everybody what it’s like to be Cameron Snead. I feel like he’s in me. Just got to be positive throughout the whole thing. That’s the only way to get through it I think,” said Campbell.

His team is trying to be positive while sporting ‘Snead’ on their backs.

“This was Cameron’s number. He had worn it original Granger Panthers team back when we had the blue jerseys back in 2013. That was always his number, the number he liked was four, so we’re all wearing it to honor him,” said the Panthers team manager, Brett Shepard.

To honor him, the team bought new jerseys, wore his favorite shoes, Converse, and fans donned t-shirts with Cam’s name to keep his memory alive.

“There’s no one I’d rather have on the back of my jersey, I’ll tell you that for a fact,” said Smith.

“I wear mine all the time,” said Cameron’s mother, after looking down at her very own Converse.

“Special to be able to do something like that, but at the same time, I don’t like the fact that I have to,” said Cameron’s brother and teammate, Daivyn Davis.

“I think about him every day and especially when I’m out here,” said Griffin.

“I can feel a presence. I can feel that he’s here, you know there’s nowhere else he’d rather be right now,” said Shepard.

“I love Cam Snead. That’s all there is,” said Campbell.

Cameron’s family will be hosting two fundraising events in the next two months to raise money for the Cameron Snead memorial fund.

The goal of the fund is to help kids play ball who might not be able to without financial help.

This Thursday, May 11, they will be hosting a charity fundraiser at Strikes & Spares Entertainment Center at 5419 Grape Road, in Mishawaka. Pre-registration is required. Contact Dan Ruffner for tickets at 574-250-5880.

The next event is a memorial golf outing that will be held at Eberhart-Petro Golf Course at 801 N. State Street in Mishawaka on Friday, June 23.

For any other questions, you can contact the fund at cameronsneadmemorialfund@gmail.com.

If you’d like to send the fund a check, you can make them payable to HTJBSA-Cameron Snead, and send them to 12136 Balsam Circle, Granger, IN 46530.

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