Teachers and staff members at Augusta Middle School met over the weekend to sort out how they could comfort and support the grieving friends and classmates of Corbin Collier, a 14-year-old eighth-grader who died Saturday, Augusta schools Superintendent John Black said Monday.
At the top of the list of those to reach out to, Black said, were Corbin’s teammates on the Augusta middle school football team.
Corbin was fatally injured in a rollover accident just after 10 p.m. Saturday in Butler County, the Kansas Highway Patrol said in a report. Three other teens either walked away from the accident or were released after treatment, Black said. All the survivors were wearing seat belts when the accident occurred. Corbin was not wearing his, the Highway Patrol report said.
Teachers were doing what they could to help children cope with the loss, Black said.
“Anyone who has ever been through a tragedy like this knows that it can create scary moments for some and irreplaceable moments for others,” Black said.
Corbin’s family had transferred him out of Augusta and into Goddard schools only about a week ago, Black said. Before that, Corbin had attended Augusta schools at least since second grade, Black said.
But school officials and children lost no time in honoring his memory. They gathered Sunday in Augusta at a memorial service at the school to mourn him.
On Monday, several teachers and staff members came to school early to help children deal with grief and arrange counseling if needed, Black said. Messages for staff members and for parents were written Sunday.
“Teachers tend to notice kids pretty well, and our staff was prepared to drop anything at a moment’s notice today to help anyone who needed it,” Black said Monday.
The Highway Patrol report said the accident occurred in the westbound lanes of U.S. 54 at mile marker 242, about eight miles east of Augusta. The vehicle, a 2004 Dodge pickup, left the road and rolled.
The driver, Caiden P. Garrison, 16, of Augusta, was not injured, the report said.
Keaton W. Favreau and Kendall E. Davis, both Augusta teens, were injured and taken to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita that night, the report said.