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School grieving after West County student dies in Wednesday crash
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School grieving after West County student dies in Wednesday crash

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A West County High School student died in an accident at Highway 8 and Harmon Road Wednesday after leaving baseball practice.

West County Superintendent Dr. Kevin Coffman described Ethan Bryan as respectful, positive, talented, upbeat and a great student. Bryan had just left baseball practice. He had stayed late to help some middle school students.

Coffman said being a “small community like we are, it has had a huge impact on everyone.”

After news of the accident spread, Coffman and Bryan’s parents met with the baseball team for three hours Wednesday night. The team members were provided with counseling.

Coffman said all the counselors would be meeting with individual classes Thursday and they will be offering one-on-one counseling for students. A letter will be sent home with students Thursday urging parents to talk to their children.

He said support has also been offered to the staff.

“It’s been tough; it’s been a tough day,” he said.

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Bryan is the son of Dan Bryan and Jackie Bryan.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, at 5:20 p.m., a 16-year-old Bonne Terre male, identified by family and friends on social media as Ethan Bryan, was driving a 2015 Toyota Corolla westbound on Highway 8 when he swerved to the left to avoid a westbound 2003 Chevrolet Impala driven by Aleisha Radford, 21, of Bonne Terre, which had slowed in anticipation of making a left on Harmon Road.

The front right of Bryan’s vehicle struck the left rear of Radford’s vehicle and then traveled into the eastbound lane, striking a 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 driven by George Arnold, 79, of Cadet, head-on.

Bryan was pronounced dead at the scene and taken to Boyer Funeral Home.

Bryan’s passenger is identified by MSHP as a 16-year-old male of Bonne Terre. The passenger was taken to St. Louis Children’s Hospital by Air Evac for moderate injuries.

Arnold received moderate injuries and was taken to Parkland Health Center. His passenger, Marie Roberts, 67, of Cadet, received minor injuries and was taken to Parkland Health Center.

Radford was reported as uninjured.

MSHP states everyone in the vehicles was wearing a seat belt.


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