After two Christian County High School students died in a crash early Tuesday morning, the community has presented several avenues of support for those who may be grieving the loss.
The two minors and passengers who died in the crash, Andrew Morgan, 15, and Kain Clarkson, 15, were both enrolled at CCHS, according to John Rittenhouse, Christian County Public Schools director of public information.
Following the accident, CCHS quickly responded and had trauma teams at the school both Tuesday and Wednesday to help any students who may be grieving or seeking help.
"We were notified Tuesday morning by (Hopkinsville Police Department) of the tragedy and we were immediately in contact with the families of both students," Rittenhouse said. "We've had trauma teams to help with grief counseling both Tuesday and Wednesday at the high school."
According to a Paducah Police Department news release, just after 1 a.m. Tuesday, Paducah police received a call for a stolen vehicle from the parking lot of Incognito Gentlemen's Club on Clark's River Road in Paducah. Shortly after, an officer observed the stolen vehicle on Jackson Street near Lone Oak Road.
Officers began to follow the vehicle before the driver began to speed up, causing a pursuit, the release stated. During the pursuit, several items were allegedly tossed from the car.
The stolen vehicle then traveled south on Schneidman Road when it went airborne after driving over a railroad crossing. The vehicle reportedly ran off the road and struck a tree in the yard of a home before a portion of the vehicle collided with the front porch and roof supports.
According to the police report, the driver, Caleb A. Puckett, 20, of Broad Street, Paducah, and both minors were pronounced dead at the scene.
According to Morgan's obituary, Morgan's grandmother was the only guardian listed.
Belinda Babb, the National Family Caregiver coordinator with Pennyrile Area Development District, shared that PADD has a support group for grandparents who are taking care of their grandchildren and for grandparents who may be grieving.
The support group meets at 10
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a.m. the third Wednesday of each month and is an open discussion for grandparents to share and talk about things they are dealing with as grandparents.
To go along with the support group, PADD offers the National Family Caregiver program. Babb shared that the program is geared toward helping grandparents take care of their grandchildren and has a small fund to help get things they may need.
"The funding is not a big amount for that program," Babb said. "But, we do help with school clothing, for example, for every grandchild."
While the program doesn't offer parenting assistance often, the program does have an annual event where it hosts guest speakers who help teach grandparents on a variety of areas of parenting. Babb gave the example of the Christian County Health Department speaking on nutrition and immunization for kids.
Babb shared that she feels the program and support group has had a positive impact on the grandparents who have taken part in it. She explained that 25 grandparents are currently signed up for the support group and program.
"It just gives them an outing to get out and if they're dealing with things, they let each other know that they are not alone and everyone is not going through this by themselves, there are other people out there that have taken the responsibility to support their grandchildren," Babb said.
"It does help them. Sometimes their funding is very low, so it does help them at least get started with things like school clothing."
If you would like more information on the program or are interested in it, you call the PADD office at 270-886-9484.