IW teen dies in Suffolk wreck
Published 11:22 am Wednesday, April 24, 2013
BY MATTHEW A. WARD/SUFFOLK NEWS-HERALD
WINDSOR—The Windsor High School community came together during a private vigil in the school’s gymnasium Monday evening after a fiery Suffolk car wreck claimed the life of Savannah Scheil, a senior there.
The 17-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene after her 2010 Hyundai Accent apparently ran off the road on Sunday, according to a news release from the city of Suffolk.
After leaving Lake Prince Road sometime before 11:06 p.m., the Hyundai struck a tree in the 3700 block. Authorities were notified that the vehicle was on fire.
In a letter sent home to parents with students Monday, Principal Danny Soderholm described the school’s efforts to comfort students.
“We are saddened by the loss to our school community and will make every effort to help you and your child as needed,” he wrote.
Counselors were made available, and Soderholm advised parents to “talk with your students about their emotions and advise them to talk to a trusted adult at school, if needed.”
Monday’s vigil was closed to the media, but Windsor High also expressed its grief more publicly.
In large letters, Savannah’s name, along with her graduation year and the shape of a heart, was spelled out with Styrofoam cups stuck in a chain-link fence behind the bleachers.
Flowers were scattered within a single parking space in the school parking lot, with three crosses and a photo of the teen.
“It is inspiring to see the staff and students rally around one another,” Soderholm wrote to parents. “The love our staff and students have for each other is our strongest asset.”
Isle of Wight County Schools spokeswoman Kenita Bowers said, “As you could imagine, this is a tough time for the school, to lose one of their beloved students — especially so close to the end of the school year.”
Counselors would remain at the school into the week, she said.
An avid cheerleader, Scheil was a member of Windsor High School’s second team All-District, which was honored at the 2012 Tri-Rivers District competition.
She worked at the Sweet Frog on Suffolk’s Main Street, which remained closed Monday out of respect for the family.
All proceeds from Tuesday’s sales will go to the Scheil family, said Sweet Frog’s Mindy Jefferies. Donations will also be collected, she added.
“She was a really great, great kid,” Jefferies said.
Authorities say the crash remains under investigation.