High school student killed in crash


By Josh Howald

Kincardine District Secondary School lost a member of the family last week.

Students and staff are mourning the death of 18-year-old Jessica Pool, killed in a two-vehicle crash in Huron Twp. last Tuesday, Nov. 22.

“We’re shocked, and extremely saddened,” said Randall DeKraker, principal at KDSS. “Our hearts go out to her family, as well as her close friends. Thankfully, we have been able to help and support each other, and I’m proud of the way the students and staff have come together to deal with this tragedy.”

Pool was driving a Ford Focus north on Lake Range Road just before 4:30 p.m., when police say she turned left onto Kennedy Road and into the path of an oncoming Chevrolet GM4. Both drivers were transported to the South Bruce Grey Health Centre in Kincardine, where the Point Clark teenager was pronounced dead.

Pool was described by teachers and classmates as a bright, funny young woman who loved and excelled in the arts. She enjoyed writing, and appeared in several KDSS theatrical productions. She spent the summer months mentoring local youths as a playground leader for the Municipality of Kincardine. Guidance teacher Peter Wolfe said Friday she graduated last year as a Grade 12, but returned for a fifth year at KDSS  with hopes of becoming a nurse. She would have been looking at colleges and universities this week.

“She was a humanitarian,” said Wolfe. “She wanted to become a nurse and help those less fortunate, to be in a third world country and really make a difference. That’s the kind of person she was, selfless.”

Pool was an only child, survived by her mother Tracy (Zia) Khogyani of Point Clark and Ken Pool of Sarnia. Visitation was held Saturday at the Davey-Linklater Funeral Home, and throngs of mourners congregated at the Pentecostal Church Sunday afternoon for funeral services, officiated by Rev. Ray Luinstra. The KDSS flag flew at half-mast.

“Quite obviously, it’s been a tough week,” said DeKraker, who held a staff meeting last Wednesday morning to discuss the crash with staff members.

The Bluewater District School Board’s Tragic Response Team arrived later that day, and helped organize memorial displays inside the school’s main entrance , and another one in the guidance office. Youth pastors were available all week for students to talk to. Hundreds of people signed a memory banner, writing their messages to the young woman, whose life ended too soon.

Memorial donations to Free the Children or the Canadian Red Cross were appreciated as expressions of sympathy.