Pendleton Co. students deal with tragedy

By Corey McConnell - bio | email

FALMOUTH, KY (FOX19) - A local high school has dealt with the tragedy of losing four students in just one year.

But even in the face of tragedy, students and their teachers have managed to grow stronger.

It was a year ago that a dump truck crossed the center line on Ky. 22 and collided with a Pendleton County school bus, killing 16-year-old Daniel Wood.

Out of that tragedy, Pendleton County High School students helped affect change. In October, the speed limit on Ky. 22 was lowered.

"It needed to be done, but we hated that it had to be in place of Daniel," said Pendleton County senior Brittany Staub.

Right before this school year started, incoming freshman Zack Herringer lost his battle with cancer.

"He was so brave in his battle with the cancer," said counselor Karen Delaney. "He was so determined and so positive."

Then in October, senior Katie Shell died in a car accident after school.

"It was like a really bad dream," said Staub. "It was surreal because we just talked the night before."

"She wasn't living life on the edge. She was a normal person that could have been any of us," said senior Ethan Riter.

Then in March, senior Lynnsie O'Hair was killed in a car accident on her way to school.

Each time grief has filled these hallways, they have come together, become stronger in honor of their friends.

Each time they lost friend, the students raised money to help the families with funeral expenses, and they raised money for scholarships.

"We encouraged them to write to share their stories memories," said Delaney.

Those letters were given to the families of their fellow classmates. They've made sure their friends won't ever be forgotten.

"Those things can't be taught in a text book and unfortunately they come from experience," said Delaney.

And from the tragic loss of four fellow students, they say they've learned that life can change just like that.

"It's all about not dwelling on the death but celebrating the life," said Delaney.

Lives lost way too soon.