EHS mourns loss of freshman and 2018 grad

By on January 23, 2019

This week, Ephrata High School mourns the loss of two students — freshman Emily Rachelle Ramirez and 2018 graduate Jaden Truskey.

Ramirez, 14, passed away Jan. 15 at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.

Truskey, 18, a freshman on Penn State Abington’s soccer team, passed away Jan. 20 after his vehicle hit ice, veered off the road and landed in Coover Run Creek in Ephrata Township, according to police.

Emily Ramirez

 

Jaden Truskey, #11, was a midfielder for Ephrata’s soccer team.

Ephrata Area School District’s administration emailed a letter to parents and guardians on Jan. 15, notifying them of Ramirez’s passing, and on Jan. 21, the district sent out another letter notifying them of Truskey’s death.

“We continue to be committed to supporting one another as our community grieves another loss,” said the letter regarding Truskey’s passing.

Only a few days previously, the letter concerning Ramirez stated, “We will continue to support all students, families, and the school community for as long as there is a need. Lastly, we ask that you continue to keep this family in your thoughts during this difficult time.”

The letter concerning Ramirez encouraged parents and guardians to be mindful of students’ mental states in the coming days, as many of them grieve: “This tragedy may bring up questions, concerns, fears, or unexpected feelings for your child. Be sensitive about whether he or she is wanting or needing to talk with you. Ask your child about his or her reactions, and accept his or her feelings by listening and giving permission to feel whatever emotions may come.”

According to the letters, counselors would be at the high school Monday until 11 a.m. and again from 1 to 3 p.m. when students had off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. There was also a moment of silence at Monday’s girls basketball game in memory of Ramirez and Truskey. On Tuesday, counselors were at the school from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., the district said. Grief support is also available through PATHways Center for Grief and Loss at 717-391-2413.

“The recent tragic losses have significantly impacted many students and staff,” said principal Dr. Scott Galen. “We have a strong Ephrata Area School District community and EHS family, who continue to pull together to support one another during these difficult times of loss and grief. While our staff provides excellent support, our students have perhaps been the greatest support for one another. The strength and compassion shown by everyone affected is a true testament to the character and resiliency of our community.”

GoFundMe pages have been established to help support the families during this time. Visit gofundme.com/in-memory-of-jaden-truskey to support the Truskey family. Visit gofundme.com/Emily-Ramirez to support the Ramirez family.

Aubree Fahringer is a staff writer and Cocalico Editor for Lancaster County Weeklies. 

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