Lawrence High School mourns NJ senior killed in Route 1 crash
🔴 Senior Daijah McKithen's parking space was filled with messages and flowers
🔴 She was killed making an improper left turn off Route 1
🔴 Counselors will be back at Lawrence High School Monday
LAWRENCE (Mercer) — A parking space in the Lawrence Township High School student lot has become the focus of students remembering senior Daijah McKithen following a horrific car crash on Thursday.
Lawrence Township Police Chief Chris Longo said 18-year-old senior was making an abrupt improper left turn from the center lane of Route 1 northbound at Bakers Basin Road around 12:15 p.m.
As McKithen crossed the southbound lanes headed for Franklin Corner Road, she was hit by a dump truck that had the green light. The truck pushed McKithen into the Shell gas station crushing her sedan.
The truck driver, Suleyman Durdu, 28, of Bordentown, is not expected to face charges, according to Longo. He remains hospitalized for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
Filling a parking space with sorrow
McKithen's parking space at Lawrence High School was filled with candles and flowers along with messages written in chalk like "Love you 4 ever," "Miss you," "Miss you Bummy Bum" and "Look after us" written in chalk, .
One mom on Facebook said she cried along with her daughter in the parking lot.
Counselors were available Friday to help students and staff cope with the sudden loss and will be back on Monday. Superintendent Ross Kasun said in a Friday message that there are several organizations to contact during the weekend.
"If, over the weekend, your child is struggling with processing their emotions surrounding this loss, there are many community resources available to you at the end of this letter. We strongly encourage you to reach out to these organizations, as they can provide valuable guidance to you and your child during this challenging time," Kasun wrote.
Some of the organizations listed by Kasun include:
Mercer County Traumatic Loss Coalition
640 South Broad St
Trenton, NJ 08650
Second Floor Youth Hotline
Can Text or Call
New Jersey Suicide Prevention Hopeline
1-855-654-6735 or 988