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Grieving the Loss of a Classmate

A school community in central Pennsylvania is grieving after the loss of a high school student.

Geisinger Medical Center near Danville confirmed Travis Tillett died Saturday night from injuries he received in a car crash Friday morning.

A sport/utility vehicle carrying four Shikellamy High School students was left on its roof after it crashed on the way to SUN Tech Vocational Center Friday morning.

The crash on Route 304 near Mifflinburg left Travis Tillett in critical condition at Geisinger Medical Center; the hospital now confirms the teenager died.

Two other students remain hospitalized; the fourth was treated and released.

“They were the ones that barely ever drove to the Tech School,” said senior Brandi Hollenback. “They were the ones that rode with us on the bus and the one day they decided to drive.”

Hollenbach was among the students who came out to Shikellamy High School Sunday afternoon to talk with grief crisis workers.

She was on a bus headed to the vocational center Friday and saw the aftermath of the crash.

“It`s kind of hard seeing a classmate just lay there and hopeless and everybody was trying to help but no one could do anything,” said Hollenbach.

Senior Chris Minion was also on the bus.

“We thought it was just two friends rear ending as we got further down the hill we saw that people were laying out of their cars and just a mess,” said Minion.

The students on that bus say it will be extremely difficult now having to ride Route 304 to the vocational center. It will constantly remind them of what they saw and the classmate they lost.

“The thought of riding by that same spot is just going to be like thinking of the whole thing all over again,” said Hollenbach.

Grief crisis workers said that feeling is absolutely understandable.

“Seeing something like that, something that horrific and traumatic as that, it definitely something that will stick with them for a long time,” said crisis worker Rob Plasters.

After the crash Friday morning, the district postponed Friday night`s football game against Selinsgrove.

“I don`t think it was an appropriate thing to do to be celebrating when a tragedy such as this took place,” said Michael Hubicki, Shikellamy High School Principal.

Shikellamy`s game against Selinsgrove is now scheduled for Monday night, however the principal said in light of this death, no decision has been made if that will still take place.


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