Family, friends remember teens killed in fatal Waldo crash 

(From left) Jabril Chever, Philemon Moore, Teleak Roberts and Lawrence McClendon.
(From left) Jabril Chever, Philemon Moore, Teleak Roberts and Lawrence McClendon Jr., all ages 14 to 17, died from injuries sustained in a high-speed crash on April 20.
Photo montage by C.J. Gish

More details have emerged about the four teens who died from injuries in a high-speed crash on April 20, including the identities of the second two boys.  

Teleak Roberts, 16, died at the scene of the crash in Waldo. In an interview with WCJB, Roberts’ father Willy Roberts remembered his son as someone with a good sense of humor who liked to spend time with his friends: “He was a good child.”  

Philemon Moore, 16, also died at the scene of the crash. According to a GoFundMe page set up to help the family with burial expenses, Moore’s death left friends and family devastated.  

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“Someone with so much life and who brought great joy to everyone he touched over his 16 years of life will be deeply missed and forever remembered in the stories that will live on of him,” wrote Shavon Anderson, who created the page. “Everyone fortunate enough to have known him will never forget his smile and laughter.” 

The fatal crash occurred when the four teens were trying to evade law enforcement in a vehicle the Gainesville Police Department had reported as stolen. A Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) car used at Precision Immobilization Technique, or PIT maneuver, to forcibly stop the speeding vehicle, causing it to roll over and slam into a concrete pole.  

FHP is conducting a criminal investigation into the incident.  

A car wrapped around a concrete utility pole in Waldo
Photo courtesy ACFR The Honda CRV wrapped around a concrete utility pole in Waldo.

Both Roberts and Moore had electronic ankle monitors from previous legal issues, according to Darry Lloyd, a spokesperson for the State Attorney’s Office. Moore had served time for burglary and grand theft, while Roberts had served time for burglary and possession of a firearm by a delinquent.  

As a father of boys, Lloyd said the tragedy strikes close to home.  

“My heart hurts for the parents. My heart hurts for the officers,” Lloyd said. “There’s a level of compassion that goes out to everyone. This isn’t something that we ever want to see.”  

Lloyd said the youngest member of the group, 14-year-old Jabril Chever, had a clean record. He died on April 23 from injuries sustained in the crash.  

The oldest person in the vehicle, 17-year-old Lawrence McClendon Jr., was a Newberry Panthers football player. He died April 21—a month after his 18-year-old brother, Jermaine Godbolt, was shot and killed

“We lost our oldest son exactly one month prior and buried him three weeks ago,” LaToya McClendon wrote on a GoFundMe page last weekend. “There are no words that could amount to pain we are experiencing.” 

A funeral service for McClendon is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Female Protection Temple in Gainesville  

A service for Chever is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at Unity Temple International Fellowship in Williston.  

A service for Roberts is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at A.L. Mebane Middle School in Alachua.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to reflect a new location for McLendon’s service.

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James

They were criminals. Period. I am a convicted criminal. Nobody made excuses for me. I never asked or expected any. I understand that they were young and could have turned their lives around. I did. But I truly believe because I was not excused for my actions in the past lead me to make positive changes. BTW I started breaking the law when a minor and I went on to commit a felony Grand Larceny by stealing a very expensive stereo at the age of 20.

Last edited 1 month ago by James
Constance

I’m sorry, but I don’t understand your point James. Yes, they committed crimes. Their latest crime ended up getting them killed. However, that doesn’t mean they weren’t other things as well. They were brothers, sons, friends, etc. People loved them and saw many other sides of them other than just that they committed crimes. They have the right to mourn them and the fact that they won’t get the chance that you did to turn their lives around. It is a very sad situation and my heart goes out to those they left behind.

James

Point? Criminals should be called criminals. When you blur the lines it makes it much harder for those that choose to be to recognize that they are, If they don’t face that they often won’t change. I’m not sorry my point bothered you.

Constance

So you expect their families and loved ones to refer to them as criminals? This article was about how the people left behind feel. Is that how you want to be remembered by the people who love and care about you? As a criminal?

Angele

I agree with James.
These young guys cause this on themselves.
Period.

Rocky

So true. Teenage boys who steal a car obviously deserve the death penalty, stop making excuses for them! Why are we focusing so much on the heartbroken families who just lost their children – i want to hear more about the car that was stolen!! So glad justice was served and the charred remains of the car will be returned to the owner, I’m sure they’ll be thrilled

Too bad those two kids will never be able make those positive changes you mentioned, but at least the other two who were left traumatized by cops forcing them to slam into a pole will be able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps now.

James

Who said they deserve the death penalty? You did Rocky. You’re angry and hyperbolic reply show you’re part of the problem. I said they were criminals. They were The point I made was they should be recognized as such. That’s all

Last edited 1 month ago by James
Stephanie

Your comment made me sick

Constance

He was being sarcastic. This was aimed toward the people who refuse to care about the families who lost their loved ones and only see the boys as criminals. Rocky was showing empathy for these people.

dcw

Not true. One kid had was clean.

James

And he didn’t know the car was stolen? If he knew the car was stolen and got into it he was an accessory to a felony. C’mon man.

Celtiegirl

I’m so sorry for the heartache the families are going through but why were these teens were not home in bed? Why were they riding around in a stolen car wearing ski masks and ankle bracelets? Why did they not stop for the police? If they had, they would still be alive and have a chance to change the course of their lives. They would have saved their families from the pain and sorrow they’re now experiencing. I hope that maybe their friends might learn from their tragedy and steer clear of the criminal life.

Janice Garry

It is heartbreaking to hear of young lives lost. My heart goes out to their families.

Stephanie

U people with negative comments are gross teleak Roberts was a huge part of my life he was my daughter’s bf it doesn’t matter what they did or were doing none of them deserved that.

BillS

Sorry Stephanie – what we chose to do affects “the community” and disrespects the family. Perhaps his death will make his family and others reflect and start on a new path. Thank god innocent people didn’t die from that carelessness.

Domingo

Exactly 💯…

Domingo

Then it seems to me your daughter God bless was the lucky One🙏

Last edited 19 days ago by Domingo