VIDEO: Friends honored Kien Lopez, Ephrata HS student killed in crash

By on May 11, 2015

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Kien Xavier Lopez, an 18-year-old Ephrata High School senior, was killed  in a one-car crash in Penn Township early Saturday morning.




The death caused an outpouring of farewells from friends and classmates who created a makeshift memorial at the Whistle Stop in downtown Ephrata.

The wreck occurred on Route 322 near the Elizabeth Township line at 3:48 a.m.

Northern Lancaster County Regional Police said Lopez crashed going eastbound on Route 322, near the Lebanon-Lancaster county line. He was ejected when his vehicle left the roadway and crashed into a tree.

Though Lopez had been in trouble with authorities, school officials and others who work with at-risk youth said he had straightened himself out and was going to graduate with his class at next month’s graduation ceremony.

Dan Mahlandt, coordinator of virtual learning at Washington Educational Center – a school for troubled youth, said Lopez “will be missed by everyone who knew him.”

“He will be missed by our staff at Washington as he  brightened each day with the smile and upbeat conversation he brought to school,” Mahlandt said.

Ephrata School district provided a counseling  Monday at the high school, middle school, and at Washington for students and staff seeking support.

Brian Troop, Ephrata Superintendent, expressed sadness for the loss that spread throughout the district.

“It is a tragedy to have a student who should be preparing for his upcoming graduation taken at such  young age,” Troop said. “We are hopeful that those who are dealing with this loss reach out to get the support they need.

Mahlandt said Lopez “will  be missed by his fellow students who could count on him to make them laugh even in the toughest of times.”

“He will be missed by his family who supported him in his goal to get his high school diploma,” Mahlandt said. ” Personally, I will miss working with a young man whose limitless potential matched his boundless spirit.”



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