BOW, N.H. (WHDH) - A first-grader and an 11th-grader were killed in a crash on a highway in New Hampshire on Friday, the superintendent of their school district said.
Nicholas Ouellette and Gavin Ouellette, both of Bow, were pronounced dead following a crash on Interstate 89, Superintendent Dean Cascadden said in a letter to the SAU 67 school community.
Tom Ouellette, the father of the children had just been named the district’s school resource officer, was driving at the time of the crash. He was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
“He has the ability to talk to the kids and make them feel comfortable and good,” Bow High School Principal Brian O’Connell said. :I think it speaks to his character and the whole entire family.”
Ouellette, 44, drifted from the right travel lane into the breakdown lane and struck the back of a parked tractor-trailer around 8:40 a.m., according to New Hampshire State Police. The southbound side of the highway was closed for about five hours following the crash.
“We have begun to process this event with staff and some of our older students. The high school implemented a secure campus to notify students and allow them to gather in groups for support and processing,” Cascadden wrote in the letter. “This is a tragedy that affects our whole SAU and we will come together as a community that cares for each other to help the Ouellette family, who have students in each of our Bow schools and all of our community members through this very difficult time.”
All co-curricular activities scheduled for Friday have been canceled as a result of the crash.
Premier Football Field was open from 4 to 7 p.m. to allow for members of the community to gather and mourn the deaths. Nick’s teammates among those who gathered say they are heartbroken.
“It’s such a heartbreak to lose him. He definitely was the heart and soul of this team,” said Ryan Lover. “The greatest team player, would do anything for anyone and same with his father.”
Principal O’Connell said Nick also had a twin sister as well as a sibling in the 5th grade. Their mom is asking for privacy for the family.
Support staff will be made available for those who need it.
“We’re going to come together, it’s a long road,” the superintendent said “They’re connected to all three of our schools and it’s going to take us a little while to process this and heal from it.”
The crash remains under investigation.
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