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Three Lakeside High students among five killed in fatal Labor Day crash

Crime and public safety DeKalb County Trending

Three Lakeside High students among five killed in fatal Labor Day crash

Photo obtained via Atlanta News First

This story has been updated.

DeKalb County, GA — The Lakeside High community is reeling after the news that three students died in a Labor Day crash that killed five.

Atlanta News First reports that the crash sent three other people to the hospital.

The three-car collision shut down portions of Highway 316 in Gwinnett County on Monday, Sept. 4, Atlanta News First reported.

“The ramp from Highway 316 West to I-85 South was closed for several hours after police said a vehicle went over the wall of a raised ramp and fell onto the collector-distributor lanes that connect I-85 to Pleasant Hill Road,” ANF reported.

Police identified the victims as Katie Gaitan Miranda, 17, Ashley Gaitan, 16, Coral Lorenzo-Rosario, 17, Hung Nguyen, 18, and Abner Santana, 19. Miranda, Gaitan and Lorenzo-Rosario were all Lakeside High students, according to a letter sent out by the school district.

Here is the full letter the school sent to families:

Dear Lakeside Viking families,

With profound sorrow, we inform you of the tragic automobile accident that happened early Monday morning, resulting in the loss of three of our students. We have received permission from the families to share the names of the students who have passed away: Katie Gaitan Miranda, 17; Ashley Gaitan, 16; and Coral Lorenzo-Rosario, 17.

We understand the gravity of the situation and have shared the news with all teachers and staff this morning. We have provided them with resources and personnel for grief counseling and are here to offer support to anyone affected by this tragedy.

Students were informed this morning and met with our District Crisis Team members, including guidance counselors, psychologists, and additional staff. The team will remain on-site throughout the week to provide support as needed.

Everyone reacts to death differently; our priority is respecting each other’s feelings and emotions. It’s okay to feel sad and grieve. As a family, we encourage you to talk with your child about this incident to help them share their thoughts and feelings. If you need additional assistance from our administrative or guidance team, please feel free to contact us at 678 874-6702.

Please refrain from speculating about the circumstances of the accident since they may be inaccurate, deeply hurtful, and unfair to the families and friends of the students involved.

We hope you will remember Katie, Ashley, and Coral’s families during this difficult time. Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you have concerns about your student’s response to this tragedy.

Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the students affected during this challenging period. We can only imagine the enormous pain and sorrow they are going through, and we are here to support and uplift them in any way we can.


Dr. Stoddard

Here is a letter sent to families by Superintendent Devon Horton:

Dear DeKalb County School District Community,

It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that I write to you today. The loss of three students from our community has left many of us feeling overwhelming grief. We send heartfelt condolences and support to the loved ones of those lost and strength to the survivors. May hope and healing prevail in the face of this tragedy.

In times of adversity, it is crucial for our district to unite and offer love and compassion to one another. We must remain united, drawing strength from our shared experiences and the bonds that connect us. Together, we can find solace and navigate through these trying times.

To the students and staff of Lakeside High School, please know that we are here for you. We understand that grief is a profoundly personal journey, and we are committed to providing the necessary support to help you heal. Throughout this week and beyond, our district will have trained professionals available for grief counseling and support services. We encourage you to reach out, share your feelings, and lean on the available resources.

In times like these, it is essential to hold onto hope and find comfort in unity. As Helen Keller once said, “Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” Let us remember those words and come together as a community, offering words of positive thought and encouragement to one another. In our unity, we will find the strength to heal and support each other through this unimaginable loss.

As we navigate the days ahead, let us also remember the importance of self-care and compassion. Take the time you need to process your emotions and lean on your loved ones for support. Together, we will find a way to honor the memory of our lost students and ensure that their legacy lives on through our resilience and unity.

In closing, please remember that you are not alone. We stand beside you, ready to offer our love, support, and guidance. Lean on one another, reach out for help when needed, and believe in the power of unity to carry us through this tragic time.

With deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences,

Dr. Devon Q. Horton, Superintendent

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