Community mourn teens who died in car accident

Families and friends gathered over the weekend at the site of vehicle accident that killed Jack Schwass (17) and Thomas Brown (16) on Friday night, Feb. 7. (Caitie Kenney/Clovis Roundup)

Two teenagers were killed Friday night in a single-car accident in Clovis.

At 11:41 p.m., Clovis Police received several phone calls regarding a single-vehicle collision at Armstrong and Bullard Avenue. Once on scene, officers located a silver 2001 Jaguar S-Type 3 with two male occupants that struck a large tree. The vehicle was badly damaged and the occupants were pinned in, according to a Clovis Police Department Facebook post.

Both occupants were pronounced dead at the scene. They are identified as Jack Schwass, 17, and Thomas Brown, 16, both of Clovis, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

Schwass was attending Gateway High School and had intended on going to college to become a counselor in the fall.

Brown was a member of the Clovis High wrestling and football teams. The wrestling team released a post on Twitter mourning Brown.

“Cougar wrestling family took a big hit. We lost our brother Thomas brown. He had many nicknames Thomas the tank, Downtown Thomas Brown, but he will be best remembered as teammate, friend, brother. Our hearts are heavy, & our prayers go out to the families. A loved young man!”

Clovis Unified School District Spokeswoman Kelly Avants released the following statement about the incident.

“Our hearts are broken today as our educational team, students and community mourn the loss of Clovis High junior Thomas Brown and Gateway senior Jack Schwass.

“We are pulling together as a Clovis Unified family to support each other and our students as we grieve, and our team of trained school psychologists and counselors will be on hand Tuesday for extra support.  Thomas was an honor student and athlete, and Jack was well known on his school campus as well having attended Clovis Unified since kindergarten. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Brown and Schwass families, and everyone touched by this terrible tragedy.”

The cause of the accident is currently under investigation and it is unknown if drugs or alcohol were involved.

Michael Ford
Michael graduated from Fresno State in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in print journalism. During his time at the university, he served as sports and managing editor for The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper. In addition to the Clovis Roundup, Michael has written for The Fresno Bee, the Kingsburg Recorder and Selma Enterprise. He has a passion for sports and can be found on the sidelines at local games, bringing the citizens of Clovis the athletics news they deserve.