Local News

Lights in Clayton sky prompt calls

Posted April 21, 2010

— Emergency dispatchers were swamped with callers reporting mysterious lights in the sky over Clayton Tuesday evening.

sky lanterns Did you see lights in the sky?

The lights were part of a memorial service for 14-year-old Brandon Spense at McLaurin at Pinecrest Memorial Park. Family and friends released 80 sky lanterns – biodegradable, flame-retardant balloons that rise when heated – to commemorate his death. The lanterns float until they burn out.

"It was like we were sending love up to Brandon and it was kind of a way of us letting go, so that he could be at peace," his mother, Amy Spense said.

"I just never thought it would have prompted such a newsworthy event," she added.

Brandon died a year ago Tuesday, when his mini-bike collided with a pick-up truck on Highway 59 in McGee's Crossroads.

After they were released, Spense said, the lanterns made a heart shape in the sky.

"I just could never have imagined how pretty it really was. We have done a couple in the past, maybe 10 at a time, but the 80 was really gorgeous," she said.


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  • mulecity007 Apr 22, 2010

    chromelexus22-After thinking about this you are the typical (fill in the blank) who thinks about nobody but their self and says stuff like you did with having no consideration for others and then hides behind the whole 'free speech' thing. I'm sorry, but even free speech has it's limitations with someone who has common decency.

  • mulecity007 Apr 22, 2010

    chromelexus22- How does my being a Christian make me a communist??? Obviously you are not of a Christian faith (which is your problem)Exercise your free speech all you want and I will mine. But the fact still remains that you made an unnessesary comment toward a family stuggling with the loss of a love one. Exercising free speech in one thing, being plain sadistic is another! God Bless!

  • NCSU2311 Apr 22, 2010

    MULECITY...make sure your child does not say a blessing at the table tonight. And tell your child it was all my fault. LOL I have to save this one. You people are further out there than I ever thought.

  • NCSU2311 Apr 22, 2010

    MULECITY...Yes Im ruining America, by working 2 jobs and supporting myself 100%. Get well soon. Your fantasy is hurting this country and the world. How many people have died over religous beliefs?

  • NCSU2311 Apr 22, 2010

    MULECITY...were you collecting the reward? I have faith, not blind faith. Pray all you want. Its YOUR fantasy like this is MY free speech. LOL its MY fault your child cant say a blessing? LOL i cant stop laughing!!!! I have never met your child. Your child can do as it pleases. Im excersing my FREE SPEECh you commmie.

  • mulecity007 Apr 22, 2010

    Chromelexus22- It is people like you that have ruined this country and why my child can not say a blessing before her meal. I know in my heart that, yes my body will rot in the ground, but soul will be with God. I hope and pray one day you find that same faith. My prayers go out to the family of this child. I also feel soory for this family that someone like you has the gall to write such a comment and that WRAL has the gall to post it. Hope you enjoy your chrome Lexus! Maybe they can bury you in it and you both rot.

  • missjohnston04 Apr 22, 2010

    i think it was a nice way for the family to remember their loved one. need more happy stories like this one instead of death, killings, child abductions, etc.

  • miss Q B Apr 22, 2010

    my goodness, you people are a bunch of grouches. there is nothing like the loss of a child and this was a sweet thing to do.
    people, get over yourselves. if you don't have anything nice to say, they say NOTHING!!!

  • ConcernedNCC Apr 22, 2010

    While the balloons are flame-retardant, should they be caught in a wind, they can come down on something else that's not.

  • NCSU2311 Apr 22, 2010

    "Sending love up"? Up where? Why do people live in fantasyland. When you die you die. You rot in the ground. It's game over. Show me proof otherwise. $10,000 reward.