GRAY COUNTY, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) —An outpouring of love and compassion going towards White Deer and Pampa as the two small towns face a terrible tragedy after three kids were killed in a rollover crash near White Deer, while the fourth passenger, a 13-year-old, remains hospitalized.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has confirmed the three who died as Kooper Preston of White Deer, Aydan Mooney of White Deer, and Luis Nevarez of Pampa.
Superintendent Scott Lucas of White Deer Independent School District said it has been a hard week and it came as such a shock to the small town and said Monday was especially tough with a lot of hurt hearts.
According to officials with White Deer ISD, the district has brought in crisis counselors from the Region 16 Education Services Center as well as area church leaders to speak with staff, students, and parents after this incident.
Pampa ISD has brought in additional counselors to help those grieving.
Superintendent Lucas said it’s been a big help having someone for students and staff to talk to.
“I think our students have good relationships with our adults in our school community and so I think with anything, just being comfortable being here at school and talking with a teacher, a coach, a sponsor, an administrator, and of course the counselors that we had. But just having someone that they connect with and be vulnerable,” added Lucas.
Brittany Stark, Pampa High School lead counselor said White Deer and Pampa are both leaning on each other and are helping each other the best they can. She added that is what small towns do.
“We band together, we’re family. And we support each other, we help each other, we bring each other meals. I think that is the best thing about small-town living is that we do take care of one another in difficult times,” said Stark.
Superintendent Lucas said they have had outreach from other schools and communities on the High Plains that are sending their thoughts, prayers, and anything else that the district needs.
“It’s not just a White Deer or Pampa issue, but we have a great area of support in the panhandle. It’s been a regional response,” said Superintendent Lucas.
Wednesday, there will be a candlelight vigil in Pampa at Harvester Field starting at 8 p.m. to honor the teens.
Texas DPS added that the driver of the car has yet to be determined as the crash is still under investigation by Texas Highway Patrol Troopers.