An 18-year-old graduate lost her life in a car accident Tuesday, and the school's campus minister says her loss has sent ripples through the school community.
Hannah Kriss, of the 100 block of Theodora Court in Forest Hill, died at the scene of the crash after and brushed one car then hit a second head-on, according to Maryland State Police Bel Air Barrack.
"Hannah was filled with life and she lit up a room with her huge smile," Patti Murphy Dohn, John Carroll Campus Minister, said Thursday.
Dohn, now in her 32nd year at the school, explained she has know Kriss and her family for a long time. Not only did Kriss's two older siblings attend the school, but all three went through as did Dohn's own children.
"She had a loving and caring heart and always tried to see the good side in people," Dohn said, later adding, "She frequently pulled for a person who might be labeleld an underdog because she saw the best in everyone."
The teen worked at the recently opened and was currently coaching cheerleading through Viper Athletics.
“She was very involved with dance, with cheer, had a long history with the Vipers. I’m sure you’ve read a lot of their messages they're just in shock,” Dohn said.
Dohn said the remaining members of the Class of 2012 are also in shock.
"They’re so filled with their plans for college and some of them have already left and some about to leave and they just can’t believe this has happened," she said.
Kriss is the second recent John Carroll School graduate to die in a car accident this summer.
, son of Harford County Council President Billy Boniface, died at the age of 20 following
"We’ve had a horrible year to be honest, , she was from the sophomore class, Ben of our class of 2010 died in June, we have had several parents die this summer, there have been way way too many deaths in this school community," Dohn said.
She said in light of these losses, the school plans to start a support group when the school year begins.
"I’ve told them all Hannah is dancing in heaven right now, that was her passion," Dohn said.
A mass in memory of Kriss is scheduled to take place Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at St. Margaret's Church, located at 141 N. Hickory Avenue in Bel Air, according to a notice posted on the Vipers Athletics website. A reception will follow at the Callahan Center at St. Margaret's Middle School Campus located at 1716 Churchville Road.
Vipers Coach Tom Judy posted the following message on the cheerleading organization's website Tuesday:
It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that we have lost a valuable member of our family tonight. Hannah Kriss, former cheerleader and present coach, has passed away today in a fatal car accident. Hannah was such a performer! She made dance look like it was easy, when we all know how hard it truly was. She captivated you and made you never want to look away. The amount of passion and perseverance that she portrayed was something that we all shoot for in life. Even when she was hurt, she never gave up on her team.
I want to take a moment to let her family know that our thoughts and prayers are with them during this very unfortunate time. Hannah was a great person; full of positive energy. She and her family have played an intricate role in the Viper program throughout the years. Hannah will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.
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