Haughton High students mourn the loss of fellow classmate - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Haughton High students mourn the loss of fellow classmate

Posted: Updated: Sep 17, 2012 07:04 PM CDT
HAUGHTON, LA (KSLA) -

A fatal wreck Sunday killed one ArkLaTex teenager and sent two other teens to the hospital with serious injuries. On Monday, students at Haughton High went back to school with that deadly accident heavy on their hearts. Extra counselors were brought in but school officials tell KSLA News 12 that very little class work got done.

15-year-old Matthew Kirkhart, who was killed in the crash, was only a freshman at Haughton High, but his friends and teachers say he has made a lasting impression.

"It's a tragic event. It kinda puts school in perspective. We come here to learn everyday things but this is a real-life tragedy," said Haughton Principal Gene Couvillion.

Matthew was very active in the school band, both in middle school and high school. He played the drums. Band director Kevin Williams said Matthew was a quiet student and yet he was still and inspiration to everyone he came in contact with.

"He was fun because he never complained about anything," said Williams. "He certainly didn't have a lot of words to say but he said a lot with his eyes."

To remember their friend, the Haughton High band is dedicating their football halftime show to Matthew. Every Friday night they will make music in his honor.

The crash happened around 2:30 p.m. just west of the Bossier-Webster Parish line on Hwy 164. Louisiana State Police said their preliminary investigation has revealed that a 1999 Dodge Caravan driven by 17-year-old Joshua Kirkhart of Doyline was traveling east on LA Highway 164 when, for reasons still under investigation, Kirkhart crossed the center line and struck a 2006 Hyundai Latria driven by 19-year-old Aaron Hickingbottom of Lubbock, TX head-on.

Both drivers sustained life threatening injuries as a result of the crash. Matthew was pronounced dead at the scene.

If you would like to make a donation to the Kirkhart family to help cover funeral and medical bills, then you can do that by sending money to Haughton High, attention Matthew Kirkhart fund or you can donate to his church, Eastwood Baptist in Haughton.

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