School reels after deadly accident, rape nearby – Detroit Free Press
Henry Ford High School students were being counseled after tragedies struck three of their classmates in the span of less than 24 hours.
In the first tragedy on Tuesday night, two girls, 14 and 15, were leaving the school’s cheerleading tryouts and were crossing 8 Mile Road near Evergreen Road when they walked into the path of a GMC passenger van that was heading through a green light, officials have said.
The driver wasn’t able to stop in time, and both girls were struck and rushed to a hospital. Timesha Daniell-Taylor, 14, was pronounced dead, said Ryan Bridges, a spokesman with the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office. Timesha’s 15-year-old classmate was still in critical condition as of Wednesday afternoon, said June West, a Detroit Police spokeswoman. Police did not release the 15-year-old girl’s name.
Then, at around 8 a.m. Wednesday, a third girl was grabbed by a man and raped at Trojan and Avon Streets, within a few blocks of the school, said Officer Jennifer Moreno, a Detroit Police spokeswoman.
The victim was a classmate of Timesha’s and frequently walked to school with her, according to a source with knowledge of the case. News reports have said that the victim had been even waiting for Timesha to walk to school with her on Wednesday morning, not realizing she had been killed the night before, and then decided to set out on her own when Timesha didn’t show up. Police declined to confirm those details and have not released any more information about the assault.
“It is a very active investigation and we are working on getting the suspect description out as soon as possible,” Moreno said.
At Henry Ford High School on Wednesday, students hung yellow ribbons at the school in memory Timesha and in support of the student in critical condition, said Mario Morrow, a spokesman for the Education Achievement Authority. Several members of a “crisis team” were on site to counsel students who were having a hard time with all of the news.
“We value our children’s lives, and safety and security,” Morrow said, “and we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that they’re safe.”
Morrow added that a candlelight vigil would take place in front of the school on Thursday night at 6:30 p.m.
Detroit Free Press staff writer Ann Zaniewski contributed.
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