South Effingham High School is mourning the loss of one of its students.
Halie McKirgan, 16, a junior at SEHS, died Thursday after she lost control of her car on I-516 in heavy rain and collided with another vehicle, according to Savannah-Chatham Metro Police.
School Superintendent Randy Shearouse said McKirgan was dual-enrolled at Savannah Technical College and was on her way to buy books for the school year when the accident occurred.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” Shearouse said. “Although I don’t know what the parents are going through, I have a couple teenagers in my house, and I worry about them all the time.”
SEHS Principal Mark Winters said McKirgan was interested in early childhood education and health care.
“As anyone can see from these two areas, Halie cared about others,” Winters said. “She will be missed but not forgotten. She will be remembered for her smile, her friendship and her desire to care for others.”
McKirgan had been a student in Effingham schools since first grade, Winters said, attending Marlow Elementary and South Effingham Middle. Winters first met McKirgan when he was principal at SEMS and she began sixth grade.
Winters described her as “a typical student and teenager” who “found her place at SEHS with friends.”
“She enjoyed school, friends and life,” Winters said. “Her teachers have commented that Halie was a student who enjoyed class by contributing to the culture of high school. She became part of the climate of the classroom with her smile and by interacting with peers.”
A moment of silence in honor of McKirgan was observed prior to Friday night’s football scrimmage between South Effingham and Richmond Hill. After the game, the players from both teams knelt together in prayer.
Additional support staff from other schools, including school psychologists and counselors, were on the SEHS campus Friday to help students cope with their grief.
“Friday was a difficult day, but the SEHS staff and students pulled together to grieve and remember Halie,” Winters said.
According to the accident report, McKirgan’s car crossed the median and struck a mini-van driven by Felicia Hayes, 30. Both drivers were taken to Memorial University Medical Center and McKirgan was pronounced dead soon after her arrival, Savannah-Chatham Metro Police said.