High school turns fatal crash into a learning opportunity for students

Published: April 8, 2019 3:48 PM EDT
Updated: April 9, 2019 12:45 AM EDT

Teens are grieving the death of a student killed over the weekend. Counselors came to the North Port high school as students are reeling from the loss of their friend.

Investigators said a Charlotte County 19-year-old woman had 13 occupants in her car when the deadly crash occurred.

Family and friends of Alannah Ferguson, 17, are stopping by a memorial to honor the student killed in a suspected drunk driving crash Saturday morning.

“I miss her,” said Bryon Dawson, a friend of Ferguson. “I wish I would’ve hung out with her one more time.”

The driver, Stephanie Evrard, 19, remains at the Sarasota County Jail and faces several charges, including DUI Manslaughter.

One other North Port High School student was involved in the crash. There are grief counselors, psychologists and social workers on site to comfort the grieving students this week. Now, the school is using the incident as an educational opportunity.

“On Friday, at the end of the day, make good decisions this weekend and come back,” said Lee Thomas, a school counselor at North Port High School, “so we can continue to educate you and give you those opportunities.”

The school requires students to take a class called Hope, which is a health and physical education course. It focuses on the consequences of drunk driving.

The NPPD told WINK news it plans to work with the school to host a driving safety lesson with students ahead of prom season.

Authorities and the school hopes more students will learn from the tragedy.

“It might show all of them what drinking and driving does to people,” Dawson said. “Maybe it will change their view and stuff.”