By Mike Walters
September 21, 2021: Franklin Township, MI -- Four Clinton High School students were involved in a crash around 8:04 p.m. Monday, leaving two dead and two seriously injured, according to a report released by Lieutenant Stephen Borello of the Michigan State Police Monroe Post.
According to the report, the students were in an SUV “travelling at a high rate of speed south on North Adrian Highway,” just south and west of Clinton in Franklin Township. The vehicle left the road and struck a large boulder in the front yard of a residence near the Munger Road intersection. The vehicle then “overturned several times and came to a stop approximately 20 feet into a section of woods,” the report said.
All four occupants were 17 years old males, according to the police report. While the names of the students, all seniors at CHS, are widely known in the community, they have not yet been officially released as of press time.
Many CHS students, shocked by the tragedy, stayed home for part or all of the school day Tuesday. Some returned in the afternoon to attend grief counselling sessions provided by the district, which arranged for additional social workers, a local clergyman, and professional counselors to be on site.
“We all need to take care of each other right now as we struggle to comprehend this terrible tragedy,” Jim Cracraft, Clinton Community Schools Superintendent said in a letter to district families Tuesday.
The love and compassion in this time of crisis continues to grow and ripple outward.
Students gathered early Wednesday morning in front of the high school for a prayer vigil. Neighbors, like Charlotte Vershum of Manchester, delivered hot meals to grieving families. Friends and relatives contributed money to help one family with expenses that will mount as a result of the tragedy -- raising almost $20,000 in 10 hours on GoFundMe. Athletic boosters from the nearby community of Blissfield, our foes on the athletic field of play, promised to raise funds for the four families at this week’s football game. The outpouring of love is as heartwarming as Monday’s news is chilling.
Perhaps the best advice we can take comes from our school district.
“Death can be difficult for us to understand, especially when it is sudden,” Cracraft said in his letter. “Please keep our students and their families in your thoughts and prayers.”