Northwest High School Community Shares Support for Fallen Student, Injured Athlete | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Northwest High School Community Shares Support for Fallen Student, Injured Athlete

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    Northwest High School students are praying for Brianna Christensen who is recovering after a winter weather wreck and mourning the loss of classmate ShyAnn Hooper who died in that wreck. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014)

    Students and teachers at Northwest High School are grieving Wednesday after a car crash killed one of their classmates and injured two others earlier this week.

    On Monday, Katelyn ShyAnn Hooper and Brianna Christensen were driving home from track practice when their car collided with a pickup truck. Hooper was killed while Christensen and the driver of the truck were sent to the hospital.

    Officials haven't ruled on the cause of the crash, but conditions Monday afternoon were icy as a winter storm arrived in North Texas.

    Now students are sharing their memories of Hooper and hoping for a quick recovery for her friend and basketball teammate.

    Many Northwest High School students are wearing orange Wednesday — Brianna Christensen’s favorite color, according to classmates — and spreading the hashtags #prayforbrianna and #smilelikeshyann on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

    Before class, a student-led prayer circle was held for students to share their thoughts about the girls.

    Sophomore Andrew Komarek sat next to ShyAnn Hooper every day in English class.

    “I will really miss her smile. When she smiled I had to smile. It really was that infectious,” Komarek said. “She was just such a wonderful person. She had the most joyful personality of anyone I’ve ever met.”

    Komarek said he thinks the prayer circle is important so students can come together and grieve.

    Folks from outside the district also showed their support for the teens Wednesday. Students from several other schools including Coppell, Bowie, and Boyd posted photos to Twitter of prayer vigils and crowds wearing orange at their campuses. A picture was even circling of Ft. Worth Fire Fighters with their hoses laid out on the ground to spell "SLS" or smile like ShyAnn.

    The before-school activity won't be the only time students have to reflect on the loss of one of their athletes and friends.

    There will be a candlelight vigil at Aurora Baptist Church at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday night for both girls.

    "It was hard for a lot of people. She was a very well-liked young lady, had a lot of influence, and so, she's going to be missed," said Andrew Vandergriff, student pastor at the church.

    On Wednesday, the boys varsity basketball game will be played at Northwest High School at 7:30 p.m. High School principal Jason Childress expects there will be a moment of silence and perhaps other remembrances during the game.

    Childress said Wednesday will be a very emotional and difficult day for students and teachers. He’s brought in extra grief counselors from other schools in the district. He also will talk about the tragedy during the second period morning announcements, broadcast throughout the school through closed-circuit television.

    "Shyann Hooper was loved by her teammates and school. She will be deeply missed and always remembered as a part of the Lady Texan basketball family," said head basketball coach Rusty Johnson. "Our prayers go out to the families and friends of both young ladies, and we ask for continued prayers for the both families and Brianna's recovery."

    Christensen's family said the teen is recovering after having suffered a brain injury. She remains in the hospital.

    Hooper's funeral has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Denton.