A single vehicle accident takes a young life.

One of Erin’s students died in a car accident yesterday. As one might expect, the event plunged the high school into a state of shock and grief. The office made an intercom announcement that teachers should immediately check their email, wherein staff received news of the tragedy and instructions to read a prepared statement about the same. This type of thing probably can’t be handled any better—you want the news to get out to students and you want it delivered authoritatively, not via rumor—but it asks a lot of teachers to cope with the emotion instantly then tell the class moments later. In Erin’s case this proved doubly hard. Not only did Erin have the student last year as well as this year, but he was a student in the very class to which she had to make the announcement. His empty seat in the front row must have been a terrible visual reminder all period long.

The high school set up a grief counselling center in the library, and they’ve support staff helping students and faculty cope—perhaps all the more important since the boy’s sister attends Sprague and his mother is a teacher there. If ever there were a school rocked by an individual tragedy, this is it.

As for the accident itself, it appears to be the sad typical case of a teenager simply driving too fast. The newspaper story was vague on whether the car hydroplaned or if the driver for some other reason failed to negotiate a curve. The accompanying picture of the boy’s ’92 BMW 325i literally wrapped around a tree, however, told the dramatic tale all too well. The full impact of the collision hit right on the driver’s side door, undoubtedly killing him instantly. The full impact on the Sprague community will take some time to sort out.