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Classmates and staff mourn death of Okaw Valley High School Student | Public Safety


BETHANY — Okaw Valley High School in Bethany had grief counselors available at the school Saturday and Monday to help classmates cope with the loss of 16-year-old student Kyler A. Lawrence, killed in a car crash Friday morning.

Reports from the Macon County Coroner’s Office said Lawrence, of Bethany, had been pronounced dead at the scene of the crash in the 7500 block of West William Street in Harristown. The Macon County Sheriff’s Office confirmed details of the crash and said exactly what happened in the single vehicle accident, in which the vehicle left the road and ended up in a backyard, were still under investigation.

A note on the school’s Facebook page said students and staff were encouraged to wear red — Lawrence’s favorite color — to school on Monday to honor his memory.

The high school’s Facebook page also says students and staff are coping with more tragic news: Sarah McDowell, a science teacher and volleyball coach, was involved in a car accident Saturday that took the life of her mother-in-law, Natalie S. McDowell, 54, a nurse at Monticello High School.

The school’s Facebook page reports that Sarah McDowell is now in stable condition at Carle Foundation Hospital in Champaign.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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