LITITZ, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. --- Dr. April Hershey, superintendent of the Warwick School District, says last Friday afternoon "changed their lives forever."
“What was just another day at school turned into a tragic event that has impacted our entire community and will continue to impact us for a very long time,” said Dr. Hershey.
As school was dismissing on October 26, police say "reckless" driving caused an eight car crash right next to Warwick High School campus.
It resulted in the death of two junior students, Meghan Keeney and Jack Nicholson.
A third student, Rylan Beebe, remains in the hospital.
Dr. Hershey said Friday Beebe's condition is "improving."
Beebe, Nicholson and Keeney were described as friends who grew up together through the Warwick School District.
Nicholson is described as an athlete who just joined the high school's wrestling team this year.
"He loved to snowboard, ride his big ripper wheelie bike and watching football and MMA matches. He liked to help with home projects with a talent for welding and wood working. Over the summers, he mowed lawns to save money to buy his first car," said Dr. Hershey.
Keeney, also described as an athlete, was a part of the high school's field hockey and girls lacrosse teams.
She also participated in arts and other school programs.
"Meghan had a passion for music and was always dancing and singing. She had a smile and a spark that would light up a room whenever she walked in and she always brought sunshine wherever she went," said Dr. Hershey.
Due to the vicinity of the crash, Hershey said staff members initially had to act as first responders.
“These individuals went above and beyond the scope of their responsibilities to do everything humanly possible for our students,” said Hershey.
In the wake of the crash, she said hundreds of students have participated in vigils and counseling.
Also, extra resources and staff are made available as student continue to recover.
“We will continue to provide this for our students as long as there is a need,” said Hershey.
Hershey explained the Warwick School District is working on how they, specifically, will honor Jack and Meghan.
She said they’re still trying to stay “Warwick Strong” through a tragic time for the school.
“What’s the worst part of this is these kids didn’t do anything wrong. We preach and preach and preach to them to make good choices and they made all the right choices so this is a lot for students to digest,” said Hershey.
The driver at the center of the crash, identified as Debra Slaymaker-Walker, 63, remains hospitalized.
Hershey said friends will be received by Nicholson's family on Sunday, November 4 from 2-4 p.m. at the West Wing Auditorium of LCBC Manheim with the service starting promptly at 4:30 p.m.
Hershey also said friends will be received by Keeney's family at the Lancaster Evangelical Free Church on Friday, November 2 from 4-6 p.m. The service is Saturday, November 3 at 2 p.m.
There are GoFundMe pages set up in support of the students and their families involved in the crash.
For Jack Nicholson, click here.
For Meghan Keeney, click here.
For Rylan Beebe, click here.
Dr. Hershey said the school district and the families appreciate the outpouring of support from neighboring school districts and community members.
They ask if anyone would like to drop off or donate something to please contact the Warwick School District before doing so.