Hillcrest students, other schools mourn loss of fallen classmates

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MIDVALE — Students at Hillcrest High School on Thursday mourned the loss of two students who were killed in a car crash Wednesday night.

Hunter Kelson, 17, and Cheyenne Bagley, 16, died about 7:30 p.m. when the Plymouth Neon that Kelson was driving pulled out onto 700 East near 9675 South while attempting to make a left turn and was T-boned on the driver's side by an oncoming Jeep Wrangler.

The impact caused the Jeep to roll. Injuries to the occupants of that vehicle were minor. Bagley was sitting in the rear seat behind the driver. A 15-year-old girl who was in the front passenger seat of the Neon was taken to Alta View Hospital with minor injuries. All three occupants were wearing seat belts, according to Sandy police.

But while students at Hillcrest High, 7350 S. 900 East, mourned the loss of their friends, they and other high schools in the Canyons School District also united Thursday in support to grieve and help those who personally knew Kelson and Bagley.

"It's easy to be in your cliques and it's easy to be where you don't have anyone to talk to. But as student body officers we try to reach out to those in the hallways or after school, always referring to the counseling center, (or) giving a nice smile to anyone you see in the hallway," said Marshall Underwood, the school's student body president.

The district sent 14 counselors to Hillcrest Thursday morning, three school psychologists and two social workers. They went to each classroom letting students know that support is available if they need to talk.

"It's just going to be a hard time even for those people who didn't know them," Underwood said.

Many students took to Twitter using the hashtag "#Huskystrong" to show their support.

You will forever be in my heart 💚 #huskystrongpic.twitter.com/Z2ANxtJ6Qw — Taya Bears❤️ (@TAYAluvzPINK) May 21, 2015

> Grateful to go to a school that knows how to come together in hard times, Sending love to the families of Hunter & Cheyenne💚 [\#huskystrong](https://twitter.com/hashtag/huskystrong?src=hash) > > — Sydney Moss (@smoss\_girl) [May 21, 2015](https://twitter.com/smoss_girl/status/601391353822449664)

> My heart truly goes out to Cheyenne and Hunter as well as their families! Stay strong and just remember to love everyone💚💚💚 [\#huskystrong](https://twitter.com/hashtag/huskystrong?src=hash) > > — Lo (@Lauren\_thomps7) [May 21, 2015](https://twitter.com/Lauren_thomps7/status/601399935980863488)

> The overwhelming support we've received from across the valley today has been both amazing and incredibly humbling. Thank you. [\#huskystrong](https://twitter.com/hashtag/huskystrong?src=hash) > > — Hillcrest Official (@HillcrestSBO) [May 21, 2015](https://twitter.com/HillcrestSBO/status/601442673606590464)

Hillcrest students said they are encouraging all students to wear green Thursday and Friday to show support for the families of the students as well as the community. Jordan, Brighton and Alta high schools have encouraged their student bodies on social media to also wear green to show support for Hillcrest.

Wear your green tomorrow to honor Hunter, Cheyenne, and all victims of auto accidents. #WearGreenFriday#huskystrongpic.twitter.com/GXU7x8Borz — Hillcrest Official (@HillcrestSBO) May 21, 2015

For Hillcrest High School, the tragic deaths of the two students add to what already has been a difficult school year. In April, popular Assistant Principal Paul Kirby, selected in 2011 as Utah’s Assistant Principal of the Year, died after suffering a stroke.

In March, a 17-year-old student was critically injured while walking to school. The boy had just stepped off the curb at the intersection of 900 East and Hillcrest High Drive (7470 South) to cross the street when he was hit by a Mitsubishi Montero.

Beginning Friday, law enforcement officers throughout Utah will fan out on Utah's roads, watching for “speed, seatbelts, DUIs, distracted driving and drowsy driving," UHP Col. Danny Fuhr said, as part of the summer safety campaign.

"So we have 500 troopers scheduled to work and we're going to add 271 troopers to that mix,” Fuhr said.

Protecting your children

The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the deadliest of the year for children and youths. The spike in motor vehicle crash deaths is so pronounced the 100 Deadly Days safety campaign focuses on safety education for those on the road.

Drownings, recreational vehicle accidents, falls while hiking, bike crashes and other warm-weather accidents that result in serious injuries and deaths also increase. More children are run over in driveways. It's an important reminder to be particularly careful behind the wheel this summer.


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Pat Reavy


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