Collision claims life of Apache High student

Collision claims life of Apache High student

APACHE, Okla._A 16-year-old girl died in a head-on collision Monday morning on her way to school in extremely foggy conditions.

The collision happened on Highway 62 near the Comanche-Caddo County line. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has not yet released any details about how the crash happened. Their latest report simply says there was a two-car fatality crash, as well as a three-car injury collision.

The two vehicles in the fatality collided head-on, killing the teenage girl who was a student at Apache High School. Two of her classmates, who were riding with her, were seriously injured and suffered broken bones in the collision.

As you walked in the doors of the high school, you could feel the sadness. Students were seen embracing and a few had already made their way into the guidance counselor's office. The superintendent and principal have brought in more outside counseling and local pastors to help the grieving students.

School officials have decided not to release the name of the students involved, but Superintendent Don Snee-Berger spoke about the young girl with high praise.

"Very active, very well liked, she was a student that helped with the football team, she was their manager. Very well mannered. It's just a sad day for Apache schools," Snee-Berger said.

Principal Todd Vail says the school is still very much in shock, and they are dealing with the loss the best way they know how.

"We are being very open right now with our kids. If they feel like they need to leave class and talk to a counselor, another teacher, a pastor…yes, we are allowing them to do that," Vail said.

Vail says this is tough on the students, but also the staff. So, he is happy he has had many community members reach out.

"We are blessed to live in a small town that cares a lot about each other. A lot of people here showing respect and support for our kids and for the families," Vail said.

They are also using this as a teachable moment.

"The fog was very heavy this morning. We are always concerned when they are driving to school. Our students have to be careful, whether it's the fog, whether it's raining or whether it's clear, you've got to drive careful because life is very valuable and we know that," Snee-Berger said.

The other two students in the car are expected to make a full recovery. As for the 16-year-old girl who passed away, the school says they plan to have a vigil when the time is right.

The highway was closed for more than five hours following the crash while crews removed the wreckage and troopers tried to reconstruct the crash to determine the cause.