Upstate teen killed in wreck honored with drumline performance

(Photo Courtesy: Henry Wilcox)

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – An Upstate drumline is honoring a teen killed in a wreck. He was a student at Wade Hampton High school.

It was a big performance for North Greenville Indoor Saturday, but two members were missing.

“They’re already a close knit group and we’ve only been together a couple of months,” said North Greenville Indoor Director, Travis Waters. “It’s a family. You rehearse together 12 hours per day so you’re with each other more than you are with your family at home so it really is a second family

That family is left shaken after two members got in an accident Friday and one of them was killed.

“Everybody’s in shock. They don’t really know what to think,” said Waters.  “The best thing I think we could do is just hug, cry, and say I’m sorry. That’s all you can do.”

The crash happened around 5:30 p.m. on Highway 414 and Burrell Road. The coroner’s office says John Robb II was the passenger in the car when the driver lost control and hit several trees. He was the third bass drummer, among students from schools across the area.

“To the group he was always there. He’s probably one of the ones that never missed,” said Waters. “He’s always super kind to everybody. He was a standup guy even when he messed up.”

The wreck happened while John was heading to rehearse for the WGI Regionals at Dorman High alongside fellow drummers.

“We’ve just been telling them that they need to grieve, you know,” said NGI Board Member Chris Davis. “They need to grieve. They need to hurt.”

The group grieved together along with parents and supporters before taking the stage. A red drum stood in John’s place, with flowers, and written messages from other students.

“It’s just going out there to perform for John. It’s very similar to sports. John would’ve wanted us out there,” Davis said.

That’s why students drummed up the courage to honor one of their own.

“As a staff we were going to cancel the whole weekend and the students came to us and they wanted to perform,” said Waters. “What would John want us to do? He’s the kind of kid who’d be like – keep going no matter what.”

Saturday’s performance got a standing ovation. We’re told that second student from that wreck is recovering.


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