(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) The community is starting to rally to support the families of two Oakton High School students who died after a car struck them on a sidewalk Tuesday (June 7).
A GoFundMe was created for one of the students, identified as Ada Gabriela. As of this morning (Thursday), the fundraiser had raised over $60,000 to help the family cover funeral expenses and other costs, surpassing its goal in less than a day. Another GoFundMe that went live Thursday has collected more than $13,000 for the other student who died.
In another effort, a member of the Oakton High School crisis team is collecting gift cards to restaurants and grocery stores for families of the victims, according to a Facebook post.
Bouquets of flowers lined the sidewalk yesterday (Wednesday) at the corner of Blake Lane and Five Oaks Road, where the students were walking when an 18-year-old driving a BMW hit them, Fairfax County police said.
Police say they believe the 18-year-old was driving at a high speed when he struck an SUV, which caused the car to ricochet into a group of three Oakton High School students. Two of the students died, and one is in critical condition at the hospital.
The GoFundMe page says Ada Gabriela was one of the pedestrians that died, and her cousin was also struck and is recovering with bad injuries.
“I thank all of you and ask you to keep my family in prayers, god bless,” the organizer wrote.
Police said the BMW’s driver and front-seat passenger were transported with non-life-threatening injuries to the hospital. Two other occupants of the BMW fled the scene, police said.
“Details of the investigation will be presented to the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney to determine the appropriate charges on all parties involved,” police said yesterday in a press release. “Once charged and arrested, the identity of the BMW driver will be released.”
Oakton High School Principal Jamie Lane sent a letter to families and staff about the car crash.
“We are devastated to learn this news and are grieving the loss of these students,” the letter reads. “Our deepest condolences extend to all families impacted.”
The school had a crisis team present Wednesday for students and staff who needed to talk to a professional as they process the news, the letter said. The letter also pointed to resources such as the CrisisLink Regional Hotline, at 703-527-4077, where someone can also text “NEEDHELP” to 85511. The hotline is available for support after hours.
“As students process this difficult news, teachers will have the utmost flexibility regarding attendance and the completion of final exams and/or culminating activities scheduled for this week,” the letter said.
Oakton High School’s last day of school is tomorrow (Friday). Seniors graduated last Friday, June 3.
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