Students at Century High School in Carroll County packed the main lobby, media center and nurse's office yesterday for help from a crisis support team as they struggled to comprehend the death of a popular junior who died Wednesday night in a car accident.
Gretchen Martina Brandt, 16, of Woodbine was killed when her car crossed the center line into eastbound Liberty Road and was struck by a sport utility vehicle, state police said yesterday.
Crisis counselors were at three Sykesville schools yesterday to help students and faculty deal with the loss. Brandt was the oldest of four children, with three brothers in local schools. Joey, 14, is a student at Century; Troy, 12, is at Sykesville Middle; and Kyle, 10, is at Linton Springs Elementary.
"This has impacted our entire community," said Century Principal Andrew Cockley, who has canceled all student activities through tomorrow out of respect for the family.
Yesterday, friends and family recalled Brandt as an upbeat girl.
"She was very bubbly, always excited to see everybody," said Ronda Andrews, a family friend who spoke on behalf of Brandt's parents, Andrea and Gary Brandt.
"She never met a stranger," said Andrews of Sykesville. "She never had a clique; everyone was her friend."
Brandt, who played basketball, soccer and lacrosse at Century, was known as a leader and often served as team captain. Andrews recalled Brandt's role in a state lacrosse championship game in May that Century won.
"She touched the lives of many different people," Cockley said. "She was a tremendous role model. She was a student many others would do well to emulate."
The atmosphere at the school yesterday was one of "extreme emotion," Cockley said.
"There has been an outpouring of help from throughout the county to help students and faculty," he said. "Many parents are stopping by to offer help. ... We're doing whatever we can to help students realize how to deal with their grief."
Teachers took time out during classes to allow students to talk about Brandt and to share their grief, said Andy McEvoy, a senior at Century.
"Everywhere you turned, there was someone sad," Mc- Evoy said. "There was a wave of sorrow when you walked through the doors."
Guthrie said the school system encourages students to call the school for additional support in the days to come.
"We take this extremely seriously because we feel we need to be there for students during this difficult time," she said.
Funeral services for Brandt are scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at Wesley Freedom United Methodist Church, 961 Johnsville Road, Sykesville.
Sun staff writer Athima Chansanchai contributed to this article.