Herndon High School alums Kyle Mathers, 19, Holly Novak, 18, and Dale Neibaur, 19, had no chance of surviving.
“They were wonderful kids who were actively involved in the Herndon school community. They were a positive influence on their peers and respected by their teachers,” said William Bates, principal of Herndon High School.
"The Herndon community is devastated and hurting.”
— William Bates, principal
“The Herndon community is devastated and hurting. Please keep the families of these students and all of us who have been impacted in your thoughts and prayers,” he said.
THE THREE traveled to Texas for a gaming conference with classmates Kevin DiCicco and Hannah Galbraith.
Texas Highway Patrol troopers “were dispatched to a wrong way crash on highway I30” at approximately 1:50 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 9, according to police reports.
Kenneth Frazier, 78, drove with his dog the wrong direction on the highway. Frazier hit the SUV with the five 2014 Herndon High School graduates head-on.
A driver of a tractor trailer traveling behind the SUV “saw the crash happen,” said State Trooper Kyle Bradford of the Texas Highway Patrol. “It was right after the crash occurred,” Bradford said, “and he was unable to avoid the collision.”
Both cars ended up in flames; the three Herndon teenagers were killed immediately and pronounced dead on the scene, according to police reports, as well as Frazier, the driver going the wrong way.
DiCicco and Galbraith “were transported, one via care flight to Parkland, and the other via ground to Hunt Regional Medical Center,” according to police reports.
Bradford called it a “terrible scene.”
A CANDLELIGHT VIGIL was held Sunday night at Trinity Presbyterian Church on Dranesville Road in Herndon.
“We send our prayers to Kevin and Hannah for their recovery,” according to Herndon’s Band webpage.
Grief counselors will be available to talk with students, staff and the community at Herndon High School this week.
County personnel are also available.
“Our staff can recommend resources to help anyone who is wrestling with painful grief and needs some counseling and support,” said Belinda Buescher, communications director with the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, Merrifield Center.
“Your readers can always call our main entry and referral number at 703-383-8500, or even our 24/7 emergency services if necessary (703-573-5679). It may not be CSB that winds up providing the counseling but they can certainly provide referral information and assess the severity of the concern. It can be very helpful.”
PRINCIPAL BATES has a message on the school’s web page:
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of these young people. We think of Herndon High School as one big family, and we mourn the loss of these three young people who had such promising futures,” Bates wrote.
“Counselors will be at Herndon High School next week in the event that anyone needs to talk to them. With Sympathy, William Bates, Principal.”
The Band is organizing donations to offset funeral expenses for the families.
Checks may be made to: Trinity Presbyterian Church, and mailed to 651 Dranesville Road, Herndon, VA 20170-3308; ″Herndon Band Relief Fund” should be noted in the memo.
“They were great leaders, role models and friends to their fellow band members, and they will be missed by each and every one of us,” according to the Band’s webpage.