Three Warwick High School students involved in a crash near the high school last week had been friends since elementary school, the Warwick School District superintendent said.
Dr. April Hershey spoke to the media for the first time on Friday about the crash that took the lives of juniors Meghan Keeney and Jack Nicholson and injured a third student.
Nicholson’s parents told ABC27 News that Keeney’s birthday was last Friday, the day of the crash, and the three were planning to go somewhere to celebrate.
“We lost two amazing and wonderful Warwick students,” Hershey said.
Keeney was on the field hockey and girls lacrosse teams and will be remembered as always singing and dancing. Nicholson just joined the wrestling team and was saving money to buy his first car.
“We loved Meghan and Jack as if they were our own just as we love every child that was part of Warwick School District which is why this has been so hard for every single one of us.”
Hershey said because the crash happened as school was letting out, many staff acted as first responders. Counselors and therapy dogs have been at the high school every day this week.
“Words cannot express what it is like told hold a grieving parent, grieving colleague, or a grieving student in your arms,” Hershey said.
Administrators said they have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from other schools who wore red and others who have worn “Warwick Strong” shirts.
“We feel a great amount of love and a sense of community here,” Hershey added. “I think it’s been evident you can see it everywhere you look. One of the amazing things that has happened as a result of their terrible tragedy is the way we’ve come together over this. We’d love to see that continue.”
The injured student, Rylan Beebe, continues to recover at a hospital. School administrators said his condition is improving.