One less is one too many…Cloudland remembers Brandi Thompson

Published 7:46 am Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Cloudland High School’s Class of 2019 held commencement for graduation at the school in the Sonny Smith gymnasium Friday, however, the event was a somber one due to the loss of a fellow classmate because of a car accident that occurred on March 11, 2018.

On the back of the commencement program is the sad invocation to those to never forget Brandi Thompson with the eloquent words, “You may never walk across the stage but you will always walk across our minds.”

“Brandi was a ray of sunshine,” said Cloudland High Principal Lisa Benfield. “She had one of those sweet infectious smiles that made everyone around her want to smile too,” Benfield said that the entire school was stunned by the tragic loss of a student.

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During the commencement, Brandi certainly was not forgotten about. Katie Clawson gave a touching tribute for her after all the seats were filled. Also, Brandi was given an honorary degree that was presented to her mother, Linda Potter.

One of Brandi’s friends, Lora Cardwell, said she knew Brandi since elementary school and expressed that Brandi liked to listen to music and hang out with friends. Cardwell said that even though she and Brandi had grown apart over the years, “she knew I was here for her.” Cardwell said she was at church at the time of the accident and did not want to believe it had happened.

According to reports that were filed at the time of the accident last year, a car driven by then 29-year-old Cory Mowdy crossed a center line on Highway 19E and struck the car that Brandi was in, which resulted in her death.

Mowdy was not charged in the incident until almost a year later when a grand jury returned a true bill March 8 charging him with aggravated criminal homicide and vehicular assault. As a result of the indictment, a capias was issued and Mowdy was finally arrested March 29.

Mowdy is slated to appear in Lisa Rice’s court May 31 regarding the incident that claimed Brandi’s life and injured several students.