Counselors sent to 3 schools touched by tragedies ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

January 19, 1993|By Monica Norton | Monica Norton,Staff Writer

Anne Arundel County school officials were sending crisi counselors into three schools today to help students cope in the aftermath of the deaths of five of their classmates over the holiday weekend.

The counselors are to meet with students for an hour before classes start, then with principals to decide what other help the students might need, said school spokeswoman Jane Doyle.

"Mostly [counselors] are there based on a need situation," Mrs. Doyle said. "Some take advantage of the counselors, and some don't. It really depends on the individual student."

Four students died in automobile accidents over the weekend and a freshman at Old Mill High School was found stabbed to death. It has been 14 years since school counselors had to help students deal with so many deaths at one time, she said.

Eight Meade High School students were among 10 teens killed and four others injured in a crash near Crofton in 1979.

But even that accident doesn't seem to have had the same effect as the deaths of five students from three sections of the county.

"We've never had anything of this magnitude occur," Mrs. Doyle said. "This impacts three different schools, in different age groups, in different areas of the county."

Melissa McDonald, 13, a student at Southern Middle School, died early Saturday. She had been a passenger Friday night in a car that was heading north on Franklin Manor Road at a high rate of speed, spun out of control and smashed into another car.

Another Southern Middle School student was killed Sunday evening when he was struck by a van while riding his bicycle. Luis Orlando Machuca, 15, of Lothian, was killed when the driver of a van traveling along Route 258 near Route 2 apparently fell asleep while driving. The van drifted off the road, onto the shoulder and struck Luis.

Justin Morrison, 10, and his 8-year-old sister, Andrea, died with their mother, Darlene Morrison, Saturday when the family van in which they were riding was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer on U.S. 50 in Prince George's County and erupted into flames.

The children were students at Davidsonville Elementary School.

The nude body of Lisa Haenel, a 14-year-old Old Mill High School student, was discovered in a ravine near a path students use as a short cut to school every day. She had been stabbed to death.

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