EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A 25 year old mom, Heather Wease, was killed minutes after picking her daughter up from kindergarten at Marrs Elementary.
The principal says they had two counselors on hand for students and teachers because so many of them saw the accident. Many of them did whatever they could to help, including the principal.
“When I got there I saw the car in the median and how bad it was, so I ran out there,” explained Principal Greg DeWeese.
Marrs Elementary School Principal DeWeese was one of the first on the scene at Monday’s fatal accident, an accident he says could have happened to anyone.
“It’s just the idea of you don’t think you’re going to go to school to pick up your child and die,” said DeWeese.
DeWeese stopped east bound traffic. His biggest concern was getting kids out, not wanting them to see the aftermath.
“Every single kid was still here when this happened, and we had lots of kids that were out at the highway in their parents' cars that witnessed this accident," explained DeWeese. "Some of those kids are not here today. Parents said they were too upset.”
Parents and staff say the intersection is difficult and dangerous, some calling for a stop light, anything to slow down the fast moving traffic.
“We do have some Sheriff’s Deputies that will show up on occasion and will park out there in the median, and it slows everybody down, but that’s not something that you can sustain because the sheriffs have other duties to take care of, but it is difficult to cross at dismissal time, and it’s difficult to get in during the morning time,” says DeWeese.
DeWeese is sending thank you notes to the first responders, and thanking parents who jumped in immediately, calling them an inspiration.
“To see them selflessly get out of their vehicles, run to the scene, leaving their own kids behind safely and taking care of somebody they probably didn’t know and stood there the entire time,” stated DeWeese.
A tragic death that DeWeese says will not be in vain.
Principal DeWeese tells 14 News he is determined to make something good come out of this. He has already contacted INDOT as well as Senator Jim Tomes and Representative Wendy McNamara. Urging them to make the intersection safer.
He’s also working with his school safety team to look at maps and see if there’s a better way to do parent pick up.