Family, Friends Hold Vigil for Grass Valley Teens Killed in Car Accident

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GRASS VALLEY -- Hundreds of mourners came together Friday to remember two teens killed on Highway 49 Thursday.

Joseph Rantz and Jude Alexander Douden were seniors at Bear River High School.

Despite the incredible sadness many people expressed at Friday night’s vigil, most couldn’t help but smile when talking about Rantz and Douden. The two were joined at the hip, according to Jude Alexander Douden's dad, Tyner Douden.

“They were both introverts, they kind of looked the same, they were built the same," Douden said.

They also shared the same faith said Rantz's grandfather, Coy Miller.

“Both of them outspoken Christians loved the lord”, Miller said.

They even had the same job. The 18-year-olds were killed in a car crash on the way to work together at Rantz's family furniture business.

“They delivered and were in customer’s homes every day, and they loved them,” Miller said.

Talking to the Bear River High School students who came to pay their respects, it was clear the two also made their individual marks on the world.

Jude Alexander Douden, who sometimes went by his middle name, Alex, was a talented musician.

“You could always pick that one person out of the band, out of that large mass of sound, that was Jude,” said Austin Higley, a bandmate.

Rantz, a left-handed pitcher, was appreciated not just for his athleticism but for his kindness.

“He was always the guy that would give you positive talk,” said teammate Jared Pitsley.

To the community who has embraced them, the boy’s families share their gratitude and the lessons they’ve learned in the most heart-breaking way.

“Try to make the most of every minute, because you don’t know when they’re going to be gone,” Douden said.

“Pray and be careful,” Miller said.