CHARLOTTE — A 15-year-old high school student died days after she and three of her classmates were hurt in a single-car crash, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department confirmed.
Officers went to Shamrock Drive near Finchley Drive on Thursday just before 9:30 a.m. When they arrived, they found a seriously damaged 2010 Mazda 3. Chopper 9 SkyZoom captured the vehicle flipped onto its top and surrounded by debris in a grassy area near the scene.
Four teens who had been hurt were found outside the car, CMPD said. Three teens who have serious injuries and one who had life-threatening injuries were taken to the hospital.
All four are students at Garinger High School, Channel 9 confirmed last week.
Police said the car was headed west on Shamrock Drive when it veered off the side of the road, went airborne and flipped.
Investigators said three passengers who weren’t wearing seatbelts were thrown from the car. The driver was wearing a seatbelt and had stayed inside the car until it stopped moving, police said.
Investigators said Allisson Manrique Mejia died from her injuries at the hospital on Sunday.
Father Alfonso Gamez told Channel 9′s Erika Jackson he administered Mejia’s Last Rights at Levine’s Children’s Hospital.
“It’s just very dark thing that they’re going through,” he said.
The girl and her family recently moved to the U.S. from Guerrero, Mexico.
He said that the Mejia family plans to move back to Mexico to mourn Mejia’s death.
“I was speaking to the father and they don’t see themselves being able to stay here after something like this,” Gamez said.
Anyone who saw the crash is asked to call CMPD Det. Kupfer at 704-432-2169, extension 1. You can also leave information anonymously with Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or by clicking here.
Mejia is the second Garinger student to die suddenly this week.
Johnnie McClendon, 14, was shot and killed in an apparent accidental shooting on Dec. 3 in north Charlotte.
Mental health counselor Damion Harmon said grief could impact their classmates in upcoming days or weeks.
“If you do see any major shifts and emotions where they go to severe episodes, in a sense of not wanting to be here or having suicidal ideations, that’s when you definitely want to reach out to your emergency department,” said Harmon, a licensed clinical mental health counselor at Good Stress Company.
Harmon said mourning classmates may be more isolated.
He recommends keeping an eye out for concerning behavior and to give your child room to grieve.
“Just having that support system, having the availability and understanding that that grief and trauma is not a one-day thing,” Harmon said.
Garinger High School sent the following message to students and their families about Mejia’s death:
“Good afternoon Garinger High School families. This is Principal Pratt with an important message.
“It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that one of our students, Allisson Manrique Mejia age 15, died last night. Allisson suffered injuries in a car accident last week and unfortunately medical intervention was not able to save her life. We are heartbroken by this loss of life and we grieve with her family and friends. We ask that you keep Allisson’s family, friends, and our students and staff in your thoughts and prayers.
“Death can be difficult for us to understand, especially when it is sudden. We may feel a variety of emotions: shock, sadness, or confusion. What is most important is that we care for and support each other. The Crisis Response Team at Garinger has made plans to respond to the emotional needs of all students. Counselors will be highly visible throughout the building and available to assist with grief counseling.
“If your family has experienced a death or similar loss recently, Allisson’s death may bring up feelings about that death. While this may be a normal experience, we want to provide assistance if needed. Please make your student’s teacher or our counselors aware if there is any additional information the school should be aware of so we can provide the support your student needs. This difficult time can be stressful and confusing. A sudden death may be disturbing to you as well as to your student. It is for this reason that we especially want you to know of our care and support.
“Thank you for your continued support of Garinger HS.”
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