Lubbock-Cooper Remembers Kelsey Vines - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/3/08

Lubbock-Cooper Remembers Kelsey Vines

DPS says a mechanical error may have caused the car accident that killed 18-year-old Kelsey Vines yesterday. The accident is still under investigation, but investigators suspect a defect in the dump truck's steering mechanism. Kelsey and her twin sister Kayla were driving north on Indiana Avenue yesterday around 4:30 p.m. when the dump truck hit their car. Kelsey was pronounced dead on the scene. Kayla spent the night at covenant, and went home today with minor injuries.

Their father is the deputy superintendant, and their mother is a first grade teacher in the Lubbock Cooper School District. The entire district is grieving the loss of Kelsey Vines.

The flags fly at half mast at Lubbock Cooper High School, there's one less car than should be there in the parking lot, and the halls are much quieter than usual as students and faculty mourn the loss of Kelsey Vines.

"There's an empty place in their classrooms, there's the traditional comments that these kids would make, their laughter, their participation is missing," said Associate Principal Dave Paschall. 

When they heard about Kelsey Vines' death, about 100 students gathered at Covenant Hospital Tuesday night to show their support for Kayla and the rest of the Vines family.

On Wednesday, 12 counselors from various surrounding school districts went to Lubbock-Cooper to help students and faculty cope with the loss.  Pam Brown, the Director of Guidance and Assessment said, "Earlier I was visiting with a group of cafeteria workers, talking with them and one of the ladies said, even the sky is sad today, and she was right. It's a very, very sad atmosphere."

Counselors say the first step is talking about what happened. Then, it's helpful to channel grief into action.

"Kids are no different than adults. They want to do something, and so many times there's nothing we can do. So if we can write a letter to the parents or we can make a get well sign for Kayla, whatever we can do, if we can find activities it's comforting to us," said Brown. 

Students have already started a memorial wall with artwork dedicated to Kelsey with one main message, have fun in heaven.

"This was a beautiful, beautiful life that was lost, and one that had endless potential to do good in this world, but those that were privileged to know her. She's already done well because she touched lots of lives in her very short time," said Brown. 

All district events are cancelled for the rest of the week. Visitation is Friday, September 5th from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lakeridge Chapel, and a service will be held on Saturday, September 6th at 11 a.m. at Indiana Avenue Baptist Church.

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