South Jefferson’s Tragic Loss of Parker Leikam

DeShawn Smith, Staff Reporter

On Wednesday, March 23, 2016, a South Jefferson High School senior and another driver got into an accident, that unfortunately and sadly left two casualties.

Parker Leikam, was on his way to a National Honors Society meeting in Watertown, where many area seniors were going to be congratulated for their role in NHS. Going down Fuller Road, Leikam’s family vehicle was hit, basically head-on, by 31-year-old Larry Plummer.

Plummer was witnessed tailgating and was passing in a no-pass zone.  When he came up a low rise after his truck passed a car, he was still in the oncoming lane and hit Leikam’s Honda Odyssey van.

Plummer’s pickup truck ended up rolling into a ditch and caught fire, according to Trooper Jack Keller of the State Police (as reported in the Watertown Daily Times).

The witness who called 911, Will Oatman, said, “We saw that there was a minivan wrecked in the road. So we pulled up and walked up to it to see if anyone needed help and we saw that there was one car in the ditch on fire and there was another person really hurt in the minivan and so we pulled over and I called 911.”

Parker Leikam and Larry Plummer both lived on Fuller Road.

According to news reports and social media, Leikam had a lead role in the play “Beauty and the Beast,” and he was well known and acknowledged around school.

He was also an athlete playing football for South Jefferson High School. He also promoted Elf Jr. the Musical, in which he played Buddy the Elf, on 7 news (pic below).

Parker Liekam

On Facebook, the Watertown Lyric Theater page said, “Very rarely do you find someone who touched so many lives – a friend to some and loved by many more. Lyric Theater joins our Stage Notes family, the South Jefferson Central School and Adams community, Kristen, Chuck, Mitch, Foster, and all who were fortunate to have been blessed by knowing Parker Leikam as we bond together in this difficult time.”

Other remembrance events have included a candlelight vigil.

South Jeff Central School officials said that grief counselors are available throughout the school to help friends and family go through this hard time.

As a fellow NHS member, this reporter really does hope he rests in peace. Parker’s accomplishments, despite the tragic ending, made me realize that life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now. You’ll be remembered Parker!

As of press time, several dozen student members of IRHS’ theatre and music groups gathered to honor Parker’s love of bow-ties.  They were joined by several teachers and administrators in a group photo in their ties, to express their support of their fellow students and staff at South Jeff. #bowtiesforparker


[This article was updated at 10:39am and 1:41pm on the day of publication.]