Allegheny County

‘Heart of her class’ Serra Catholic High School remembers student killed in crash in Dravosburg

DRAVOSBURG, Pa. — Classes are canceled again on Monday at Serra Catholic High School. It will be the same day Samantha Kalkbrenner will be laid to rest and school leaders are preparing to help their community cope with the tragedy.

“She was a beating heart of her class. She was a beautiful young woman who always had a smile on her face and kind words for everyone if you read her father’s Facebook post about how she was the most perfect child that a father could ask for, we could echo that that she was perfect in every way,” said Robert Childs, the principal of Serra High School.

Childs said 15-year-old Samantha Kalkbrenner brought joy to so many lives. He rushed to Richland Avenue Wednesday morning after he heard about the crash involving the school van she was riding Thursday morning.

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“But then on-site got confirmation that it was Sam and it was obviously devastating,” said Childs.

Kalkbrenner’s mom works in the school’s cafeteria. School president Timothy Chirdon was the one who told her what happened.

“She said she could see her on her door cam leaving and then two minutes later the accident occurred,” said Childs.

The drivers of both the school van and the car were hurt along with three other students.

The van driver is still in the hospital. Two students have been released from the hospital. One of the students released was at the candlelight prayer vigil held for Kalkbrennetr More than 3,000 people attended.

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“In the midst of extreme sadness, I hope and pray that her family and loved ones can find small amounts of joy, and knowing how much love we will have for her,” SAID Chirdon.

A GoFundMe for Samantha’s family has raised more than $25,000. Memorial contributions may be made to the Appalachia Work Camp where Samantha volunteered.

Click here to donate to Samantha Kalkbrenner’s family.

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