2nd teen dies after parking garage fall; school offers counseling

By ADVOCATE STAFF REPORT
Jan. 12, 2017 at 5:49 p.m.
Updated Jan. 12, 2017 at midnight

A 14-year-old girl and 12-year-old female youth are dead after jumping Thursday evening from a top level of the Citizens Medical Center parking garage on Red River Street.

Lt. Eline Moya, a Victoria police department spokeswoman, said officials received a call at 5:19 p.m. that two people had jumped from the garage.

The 14-year-old girl died at the scene. The 12-year-old girl was reported as critically injured Thursday night, but public officials later confirmed Friday she died at 8:07 p.m. Thursday.

The district made phone calls to parents announcing the deaths Friday.

Grief counselors were on campus Friday morning at Patti Welder Middle School, where the two girls attended, said Shawna Currie, Victoria school district spokeswoman. Additional support also will be provided on other campuses where needed, she said.

In addition, counseling will be available from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Patti Welder library.

"We are also working with law enforcement and monitoring the response from students to determine any additional supports that may be needed," Currie said. "VISD will provide those support services as long as necessary."

This is the third death related to the Citizens Medical Center parking garage in the past 16 months.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family members and friends affected by this tragedy," said Jennifer Schulte, marketing director for Citizens Medical Center. "We are actively investigating ways we can help mitigate devastating events like this."

Citizens staff from security and engineering are doing an assessment at the parking garage, Schulte said.

"Citizens reached out to Gulf Bend Center this morning to see how they could help address this issue in the community," Schulte said.

This message was sent to Patti Welder Middle School students from the Victoria school district:

"It is with a very heavy heart that I share this information with you. Last evening two of our Patti Welder Middle School students fell from the top of the parking garage at Citizens Hospital. It has now been confirmed that both have died from their injuries. We know that you join us all in expressing our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers to the families, as well as our Patti Welder family during this most difficult time. We have been working diligently to provide a plan of action and support for the Patti Welder campus. We have additional personnel, including counselors and Central Office staff, reporting to the campus to assist us in dealing with this terrible tragedy.

In addition to notifying students and staff, an Edulink call was made to Patti Welder parents to inform them that the information was shared with their child and that counseling services are being provided to those who feel they could benefit from them."


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