NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. — A large banner hung on the cafeteria wall inside Oak Glen High School, where students wrote messages of condolence and remembrances to three classmates killed in a car crash.
Thursday was the first day back to campus for Oak Glen students since the deaths of Krystyn Butcher, Kaylin Rice and John Snow III. The three 16-year-olds died in a head-on collision Saturday night on Route 8 near New Manchester.
They were headed home from a basketball game when their car crossed the center line and struck a fire truck on its way to a call.
“I got a call about half an hour after the game was over from my superintendent,” said Oak Glen principal Barbara Logue. “At first I couldn’t process what she was telling me and then when I finally realized it was three of our students. It was like a sock to the stomach.”
Students missed Monday due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and classes were cancelled Tuesday and Wednesday for snow. Logue said the weather actually gave the student body and the community time to grieve and lean on each other outside the school environment.
“We have a very close-knit community here at Oak Glen,” said Logue. “It’s a great sadness over the school. I think the initial shock has already hit the kids and they’ve had a couple of days to process what happened.”
Professional counselors were on hand at the school if any student needed help dealing with the grief.
“These are three really good kids from very nice families that are very involved with the school,” Logue said. “It’s a great loss not only to our school, but also to the community.”
The student body is using the memorial wall in the lunch room as one way to express grief and will present the parents of the three with those messages of condolence at the end of the week.