MACON COUNTY, Tenn. - Two crosses and pieces of Eli Borders' truck were placed at the intersection of Long Creek Road and Johnson Road in Macon County to memorialize how the 17-year-old died.
According to THP, Borders crashed his truck while drag racing Saturday night. He hit a culvert and was a ejected from the vehicle. Borders was not wearing a seatbelt and later died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
But his friends and family said they'll remember Borders for who he was, not the tragic mistake that ended his life.
"Everybody knew Eli and if they didn't they knew the presence of him,' said Logan Thompson, Borders' friend. "He was always smiling, always happy."
On Tuesday, it was evident Borders had touched countless lives. Hundreds poured into the Alexander Funeral Home for a twelve hour visitation.
"When you have around 600 people in a four hour period of time come and hug you and tell you how he treated them, how he respected them, how he showed them love in every facet available, as a parent it's overwhelming," said Lionel Borders, Eli's father. "I'm so proud that's the person he became because they'll remember that."
Borders was about to start his senior year of high school. He planned to graduate early in December and pursue working as a mechanic.
His friends plan to hold a final diesel truck ride in Eli's honor on Wednesday. Anyone who wants to participate can meet at the Walmart on Highway 52 at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning. The procession will drive to the funeral at 10:30 a.m.
Borders' funeral is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. inside the Macon County High School gym.
His body will also be escorted from the gym to the cemetery by the same procession of trucks.