Family remembers teen who died days after graduating

Columbia, S.C. (WACH) - The family of 18-year-old TJ Langfitt says he never knew a stranger.

"He was energetic, caring, bubbly," said Tim Langfitt, TJ's father. "Sometimes...a lot of times, spontaneous. He was busy, you know? He liked to go and do things."

His father says he'd spend time with his little sister, Shelby, for hours past bedtime.

"We'd tell each other how our days went," Shelby said. "We'd always send each other these funny pictures. Even if we were in another room, we'd run to the other room just to show each other some videos."

But now the teenager is gone. He was killed in a car accident last Tuesday, only a few minutes down the road from his home.

"Another 2 minutes and he would've made it home," said Tim.

TJ Langfitt was a student and football player at Gilbert High School. He had graduated just 11 days before the accident.

His funeral was held Saturday at the Cedar Grove Lutheran Church. His family said over 700 people showed up to pay their respects to the teen.

"We were just overwhelmed," said his mother, Lisa. "I mean, the love the support and everything that was put forth. It was almost unreal."

Hundreds of families, neighbors, classmates and more have poured out well wishes and conducted memorials for the teen.

One of the most touching: dozens of his classmates left their graduation tassles on TJ's grave.

"This is a keepsake of their when they graduate high school and these kids wants to put their tassles...with our son," said Tim. "And they did. I took a picture of top of the casket before they closed the vault."

The teenager had been an employee at Rush's in Lexington for the past year and had just started work at LTC.

The family also wanted to thank Lt. Colonel McDonald with the Lexington High School JROTC for providing a uniform for TJ to be buried in.

"The last thing I would say: love everybody, love your family, not just by saying I love you, but by actions and showing that love," said Tim.

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