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Community mourns loss of teen

Community mourns loss of teen
Kimberly Jacob

PAWELEKVILLE ...A 16-year-old from La Vernia is dead following a predawn crash Sept. 22 on S.H. 123.

Trooper Brittani Weimer of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, who was dispatched to the scene at 5:03 a.m., said Kimberly Jacob was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kimberly was a passenger in a Dodge pickup truck being driven by 17-year-old Elliott Renshaw, also of La Vernia. The vehicle was towing a trailer containing 17 head of cattle, all of which perished in the crash, Weimer said.

According to the preliminary investigation, Weimer said Renshaw was traveling northbound on S.H. 123 when he apparently fell asleep at the wheel approximately 0.4 miles north of F.M. 887 near Pawelekville. This caused the vehicle to veer to the right before leaving the roadway and striking a tree on the truck’s passenger side. Upon impact, the trailer became detached, veered right, and struck another tree.

Weimer said neither occupant of the vehicle was wearing a seat belt. Renshaw was flown via AirLife helicopter to University Hospital in San Antonio, suffering from a broken femur, broken wrist, and internal bleeding. Hospital spokesman Leni Kirkman said Sept. 24 that he was listed in stable condition.

Superintendent Tom Harvey of the La Vernia Independent School District confirmed that both the driver and passenger were students at La Vernia High School. He said Sept. 24 that counselors were available to assist grieving students and staff members.

“La Vernia ISD is grieving the loss of a beautiful and talented student,” Harvey said. “Our student body and entire staff are deeply saddened. We extend our condolences to the family of Kimberly Jacob.”

See obituary, page 3.

Help for grieving kids

According to La Vernia High School Counselor Craig Schraub, “It is difficult for anyone to cope with the death of a family member or friend. This becomes even more difficult when dealing with a child.”

He offers these helpful suggestions:

¢Depending on your child’s age, recognize that your child may not understand death or may hide their emotions. It is important that you are available to help and support your child during this time. Be there and listen.

¢When your child feels ready, encourage your child to talk. Recall the good times you had.

¢You may want to help your child express their emotions by making scrapbooks, writing notes, or painting.

“Finally, recognize that it may take time for your child to get back to their regular routines,” Schraub said. “Again, be there for your child and listen.”

The La Vernia ISD also offered these resources families can explore to help deal with grief or sorrow at the loss of a friend or loved one:

¢The Children’s Bereavement Center, http://cbcst.org

¢The Dougy Center: The National Center for Grieving Children and Their Families, www.dougy.org.

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