A Mercer County community is mourning the loss of two Hickory High School students after a tragic crash over the weekend.
Alexis Myers, 16, and Danielle Nelson, 15, died when the SUV they were riding in crashed into two semis Sunday night along I-80 in East Lackawannock Township. The 17-year-old girl who was driving and another passenger were taken to a Pittsburgh hospital with serious injuries.
The girls were on their way to a religious event at Grove City College. A group of parents was traveling behind them.
The community has come together to help the family of Alexis Myers — the daughter of Hickory’s wrestling coach, Adam Myers, and the sister of one of the wrestlers. In just under five hours Monday night, members of the Hickory Wrestling Program raised over $8,000 of their $10,000 goal for the Myers family.
Another fundraiser in honor of Nelson had already raised $5,000 in about an hour Monday night.
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Although she didn’t want to be identified, we talked to a girl who told us she was Myers’ best friend. She said Myers would always come over her house.
Losing her best friend hurts because she knows she won’t be able to hug or see her anymore. When she walked the halls at school on Monday, she said she still expected Lexi to be there, walking by her side.
She said she’s been looking at pictures of them together and texts between them all day. Counselors who were at the school on Monday have helped her cope so far.
Other students said classmates, teachers and bus drivers were crying on Monday, thinking about the tragic loss.
Hickory High School Superintendent Daniel Bell said the school was on a two-hour delay Monday because of the weather, but also so staff could gather ahead of time and prepare to talk to the students.
Bell said the day began with core teams within the district who reached out to students.
Counselors were on hand at the high school for any student who wanted the support. Health professionals and clergy in the area offered to help with counseling.
Other local high schools have offered their condolences. Kennedy Catholic High School posted this message on Twitter: