Hallettsville High School mourns death of student

Sara  Sneath By Sara Sneath

March 19, 2014 at 6:03 p.m.
Updated March 18, 2014 at 10:19 p.m.

Hallettsville High School is offering its students additional counselors and emotional outlets after a 16-year-old student died in a truck wreck Tuesday.

Counselors from the elementary and junior high schools were at the high school Tuesday to provide students with additional support in coping with the loss of Kayleigh Foster, said Principal Darrin Bickham.

"Our teachers have fabulous relationships with students. That's played a huge role," Bickham said of students seeking help Wednesday.

Students are being offered the opportunity to share their grief in whatever form they feel most comfortable, including verbally and through letters and posters, Bickham said.

One of the five Hallettsville teenagers in the accident came to the school to meet with close friends of Kayleigh and tell them what happened, Bickham said.

The five teens involved in the wreck were on the way to varsity baseball and softball games in Schulenburg about 5 p.m. Tuesday when the wreck occurred, Bickham said.

The driver, Matthew Jalufka, 17, swerved a 2008 Chevrolet pickup several times before it rolled, landed upright and caught on fire on County Road 198 about one-tenth of a mile west of Farm-to-Market Road 957, said Trooper Gerald Bryant, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety. Foster was pronounced dead at the scene.

Matthew and passengers Cecelia Loos, 18, and Dennis Phillips, 19, were taken to a hospital Tuesday. Bickham said the teens have since been released.

A fifth passenger, Gavin Ford, 16, was flown by helicopter to Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, Bryant said. A hospital spokeswoman said he was in good condition Wednesday.

Pastor Andy Taylor with St Peter's Lutheran Church said he went to the high school to offer emotional support Wednesday. Taylor said the Fosters had attended St. Peter's Lutheran Church at one time but were not current members.

Bickham described Kayleigh as a confident young woman with "a lot of class."

"She's going to be missed," he said.



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