The first week back to school for York students and staff has been marred with sadness.
"We are deeply saddened by a number of losses experienced recently by York families over the last several days—including the deaths of a student, a graduate, and also a parent of our students," York Principal Diana Smith said in a Talk 205 message released on Tuesday.
Noe Gomez, 18, was killed in a rollover accident near Galena. He was returning to Elmhurst after attending a family wedding when the accident occurred Monday afternoon, York Principal Diana Smith said in another statement to York staff this week.
She said Noe was an honor roll student who was active in York's elective departments. He also was a member of the York Track Team during his junior and senior years, Smith said.
"Stan Reddel, his coach, said he was a valuable asset to the team and was always the first to volunteer to help out organizing track meets and practices," Smith said in the statement. "He graduated this May with hopes of attending the College of DuPage and Northern Illinois University."
Freshman Brendan Connell also lost his father, Daniel Connell, last week at age 48. Daniel Connell also has a younger son at Emerson Elementary.
"Dan Connell was a York graduate and an uncle to many of our students and former students," Smith said. "He was a coach in the community and active, along with his wife, at both Emerson and Churchville."
Services for Daniel Connell were held Wednesday and services for Noe Gomez will be Thursday and Friday. Students also have been dealing with the Aug. 10 death of another York student, 15-year-old Robert Weiner. Services for Robert were held last week.
- Death Notice: Daniel Connell, 48, of Elmhurst
- Death Notice: Noe Gomez Jr., 18, of Elmhurst
- Death Notice: Robert Tyler Wiener, 15, of Elmhurst
"This period of grief for our students, staff and families reminds us of the tremendous loss that is present, even in a lively, exciting start to the new school year," she said. "Often a death can trigger a response in students who have experienced loss in their own lives. Our social workers and counselors are available to any student or staff member who needs support.
"My thanks to all of you for looking out for our students and for each other."