Harrison County High School is mourning the loss of a classmate after a Monday afternoon car wreck on KY 36 West.
The vehicle, a four-door 1997 white Toyota Camry, carrying four HCHS students, was traveling eastbound toward Cynthiana around 4:30 p.m. when the vehicle ran off the road and struck a tree on the passenger side, according to Harrison County Sheriff’s Deputy Dean Hutchison, accident reconstructionist.
HCHS junior Kayla Poteet, 16, died upon impact. The driver, Phillip Sexton, 17, and two other passengers, Brandi Poteet, 15, and Sierra Courtney, 16, were transported to Harrison Memorial Hospital. Brandi, Kayla’s sister, was later transferred to the University of Kentucky Medical Center, where it was reported she was in serious condition Tuesday morning. Sexton and Courtney were released from Harrison Memorial Hospital Monday night.
Hutchison said alcohol was not a factor and the accident remains under investigation.
Classmates, parents, teachers and administrators gathered at the high school library upon news of the accident Monday night.
“There’s a lot of grief going on today,” said HCHS Principal Jim Schmidt on Tuesday morning. “We just lost a really special young lady.”
Assistant Superintendent DeeGee Fischer said 250 to 300 people came to the high school Monday evening.
“Kids just wanted to be together,” Fischer said. “The kids know to come there.”
HCHS Guidance Counselor Donelle Judy said Tuesday morning that a crisis management team had been set up in the library.
“It’s good today that we were here,” Judy said, noting that students will be off the rest of the week for the Thanksgiving holiday. “The kids need a day to be together.”
Posters were put up on high school walls outside the auditorium for students to write thoughts, memories and wishes for Kayla and those recovering.
Cards, letters and flowers were placed on the students’ lockers as well.
Kayla Poteet was the daughter of Frank and Lisa Poteet. She was a member of the Fillies Varsity Soccer Team.