BAGGS, Wyo. (KKTV) - A father of three is mourning the loss of his wife and children after they were killed in a crash in Wyoming.
Gordon White released the following statement to KKTV 11 News following the deadly crash.
“Heather, Bruce, Megan and Scott spent their lives serving people for Jesus. It was my great privilege to watch them live out their faith and help them as a husband and father when I could. They enjoyed being a part of this community, and all the expressions of care and sympathy are a testimony of their impact.”
The Wyoming Highway Patrol says Heather White's SUV crossed the center line of a highway in south-central Wyoming and collided head-on with a Chevrolet Silverado pickup pulling a trailer. Both vehicles caught fire.
The crash claimed the lives of Gordon's family and a passenger in the other car, 28-year-old Katie O'Keefe of Casper. The pickup driver, 27-year-old Eric Hagen, of Casper, was pulled from the burning vehicle by others and was being treated at a Denver hospital.
Driver inattention and speed by Heather are being looked at as contributing factors in the crash. The crash remains under investigation.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol said Monday that the accident happened at about 2:50 p.m. Friday on Wyoming 789 in Carbon County.
Matt Meister, a spokesperson for District 49, said the district was heartbroken over the loss of the mother and three children, who had attended school in the district for seven years. Bruce White had just ended his junior year at Falcon High School and sister Megan, her freshman. Scott would have started seventh grade at Falcon Middle School in the fall.
"The loss we've suffered is deep ... The White family has been in District 49 since 2010 and their impact is wide. Collectively and individually, they made us smile and laugh in the hallways of Woodmen Hills Elementary School, Falcon Middle School and Falcon High School. Heather, Bruce, Megan and Scott will be deeply missed," Meister said in a statement.
The district has suffered more than its share of tragedy in recent months, including losing a student in a suspected drunk driving crash, a student who took their own life, and a pair of staff members in the span of two months. A middle school teacher at a district charter school lost her life just days before the end of the school year in a skiing accident.
"As you know, our community suffered many losses over the last several months. Often, when people experience one loss, other losses in their lives are remembered and emotions brought up. In processing this sad news, some may feel a great deal more than they might show. Everyone demonstrates grief a little bit differently," Meister wrote.
The district said grief counselors would available at Falcon High School Wednesday from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Counseling is also available for D-49 students and siblings 21 and younger Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. all summer long at the Falcon Elementary School of Technology's health center. The district said students can also call or text a trained mental health professional using the Colorado Crisis Line, phone number 1-844-493-TALK.
An information packet on helping kids process grief can be found on the District 49 website.