Rock Hill copes with loss of student

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 12, 2002

Seventeen-year-old Kelly Gladeau, a Rock Hill High School senior, will be missed by friends and family after she was involved in a fatal car accident Wednesday morning.

On her way to pick up a friend to go to school, she was traveling eastbound on Pine Grove Road at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday when she hit a patch of ice and lost control of her silver 1990 Toyota Corolla as she came around a curve. She slid across the yellow lines and hit a school bus head-on, said Lt. Carl Roark, post commander of the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Ironton post.

Gladeau was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Gene Adams, the driver of the empty school bus, sustained minor injuries and did not require medical treatment, Roark said.

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Although the investigation is still ongoing, Roark said they are confident they know what happened, and do not expect the circumstances to change.

Principal Steve Lambert said the atmosphere at the school was very somber, quiet and reflective all day.

"We told the kids it is OK to be upset. It is OK to cry," he said. "The other kids need to be strong for Kelly's friends and family. I am proud of the way the kids handled it."

When someone has been a part of the school for four years, it is understood the students will be emotional, he said.

"Kelly always had a big smile on her face," he said. "She was close to some of the teachers here and she will be missed."

Guidance Counselor Bob Wilds, Principal Lambert and Vice-Principal Marty Mills went to each classroom and talked with every student in the school.

"Kelly is a very outgoing, friendly young lady, and our staff and students are visibly shaken by this loss," Wilds said. "Right now, we are just handling it on an individual basis with the students that need grief counseling.

"The student body and faculty here is a close-knit group. Kelly is a member of our family and the loss has been tragic for the entire Rock Hill community."