Grief Counselors Assist Albemarle High Students

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin
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May 22, 2006

Albemarle High School students were meeting with grief counselors Monday after a car crash over the weekend killed one of their own.

Getting back into the swing of things on a Monday is usually for some students following an exciting weekend, but this Monday is especially hard. Students at Albemarle High School are mourning the death of their classmate 17-year-old Nolan Jenkins.

He died in a crash on Thomas Jefferson Parkway

"This is a really difficult day for both the staff and student body at Albemarle High School. Anytime that we lose a student it directly touches everybody in a school," said Dr. Pam Moran, the Superintendent of Albemarle County Schools.

Nolan Jenkins, a 17-year-old senior and star lacrosse player of Albemarle High School, died in a crash along Thomas Jefferson Parkway on Friday, May 19.

"Our hearts certainly go out to the family of the student that we lost- Nolan Jenkins," added Dr. Moran.

Albemarle County Police say his sports utility vehicle hit a fence and flipped onto its roof.

Jenkins' family at Albemarle High School held a vigil on Saturday.

"Our staff is very much in a grieving process, so it does take a toll. And we want to be there to support everybody to move through this time," said Moran.

Police worked the accident in the 1000 block of Thomas Jefferson Parkway around 10:00 p.m. Minutes later, and just a short distance away, officers busted an underage drinking party.

"We responded to the party, found nineteen juveniles there. Eleven out of the 19 had consumed alcohol. Which we did make 11 arrests and released all the juveniles to their parents," said Sergeant Pamela Greenwood of the Albemarle County Police Department.

Police will not say where the party was held, but will say they believe Jenkins was there. A report says speed and alcohol was a factor in Jenkins' accident.

Officers say no adults were there to watch over the 19 teenagers. Now, the question remains, how did the teenagers get the alcohol?

It is common practice for grief counselors to meet with students after a student is killed, but not with parents. In this situation, they are meeting with Nolan Jenkins' mother, because Mrs. Jenkins is a teacher at Albemarle High School.

The police investigation into who provided the alcohol for the underage drinking party continues.

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