Graham community mourns loss of student


Staff report



Community members gather for a candlelight vigil in memory of Sara M. Hess in front of Graham High School on Saturday evening.


Steve Stout | Urbana Daily Citizen

Sara M. Hess


Steve Stout | Urbana Daily Citizen

Community members gather for a candlelight vigil in memory of Sara M. Hess in front of Graham High School on Saturday evening.


Steve Stout | Urbana Daily Citizen

ROSEWOOD – A Graham High School student was killed and another one injured after a two-vehicle accident Friday night.

The crash occurred on state Route 235 near Shanley Road at approximately 11:07 p.m.

According to information from the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, a 2005 Honda Accord, driven by 17-year-old Gabe Wier, was southbound on 235 with passenger, 15-year-old Sara M. Hess, when it was rear-ended by a 1997 Honda Civic driven by 27-year-old Dillion Lambert of St. Paris.

Hess was pronounced deceased at the scene by Champaign County Coroner Dr. Joshua Richards. Wier was transported by squad to Wilson Memorial Hospital in Sidney.

Clint Miller, age 32 of Urbana, was a passenger in Lambert’s vehicle. Both Lambert and Miller were airlifted by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

Graham Local Schools Superintendent Kirk Koennecke issued the following statement on Saturday morning:

“Last night, two of our Graham High School students were involved in a serious car accident. Graham’s Crisis Response Team was activated. Sadly, one of our students, Sara Hess, passed and another is in serious condition. We will provide more information and ways you can support these Graham families as we are able to release it. Our thoughts are with our families and students at this time. Grief counseling (was offered) at GHS from noon to 2 p.m. today.”

Koennecke posted the following information to Twitter at 10 a.m. Saturday: “Gabe Wier wants everyone to know he’s OK. The Wier family would like to communicate that they are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, support and prayers, but at this time (they) ask for no more visitors so that Gabe can heal and the family can gather.”

All student activities and athletic practices scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 4, were cancelled at Graham.

A candlelight vigil was held in memory of Sara Hess at the front entrance of Graham High School at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Nearly 200 people attended the ceremony. Koennecke spoke during the vigil and the attendees sang “Amazing Grace.” The American flag located in the middle of the ceremony was flying at half-staff.

According to information from Graham Local Schools, Hess was a member of the volleyball team and band along with participating in other school leadership activities. She was also active in 4-H.

Community members gather for a candlelight vigil in memory of Sara M. Hess in front of Graham High School on Saturday evening.
http://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2017/11/web1_vigil1.jpgCommunity members gather for a candlelight vigil in memory of Sara M. Hess in front of Graham High School on Saturday evening. Steve Stout | Urbana Daily Citizen

Sara M. Hess
http://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2017/11/web1_hess-1.jpgSara M. Hess Steve Stout | Urbana Daily Citizen

Community members gather for a candlelight vigil in memory of Sara M. Hess in front of Graham High School on Saturday evening.
http://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2017/11/web1_vigil1-web.jpgCommunity members gather for a candlelight vigil in memory of Sara M. Hess in front of Graham High School on Saturday evening. Steve Stout | Urbana Daily Citizen

Staff report

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