Gresham, Ore. — A memorial is growing in Gresham, where a young boy was hit and killed while walking to school, by a suspected impaired driver. It happened Monday morning near 5th and Hogan. The 11 year old boy, Luis Javier Medina was in a crosswalk headed to school for the first time after Christmas break. Dexter McCarty Middle School will have counselors on hand for students and staff again today, to help kids cope with the loss of a classmate. School principal John George sent a letter to parents right away telling them what happened, and encouraging them to observe their kids. The driver, 25-year-old Garrett Berquist, was arrested and booked into the Multnomah County jail. Police say he was impaired by something other than alcohol when he ran the red light hitting the boy in the crosswalk.
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A tragic start to the end of Christmas Break at Dexter McCarty Middle School as a student is hit and killed while walking to school Monday morning.
Gresham Police say the 11-year-old boy was crossing S.E. Hogan at 5th in a marked crosswalk when he was hit.
The driver that hit him stayed at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation.
The school’s principal released the following statement to the parents of students at Dexter McCarty. Luis Medina’s family has set up a go fund me account to pay for his funeral.
A Statement from Principal John George:
It is with profound sadness that I write this communication to let you know that one of our students was involved in a tragic traffic accident and unexpectedly passed away this morning. The Gresham Police have notified the parents of the student. Our condolences and thoughts go out to the family and friends of our student. Additional counselors will be on hand both this afternoon and tomorrow to support students and staff.
As soon as we received the news we implemented our school’s Emergency Response Plan so that we could do our best to provide an appropriate response for our staff and students. We know that students and staff react in different ways to tragedies of this nature, so we are going to be flexible in our response.
A student death is a difficult and challenging situation that can generate a high level of anxiety and distress in some students. Children may have limited or no experience in coping with a loss like this and might be confused as to how to handle grief. If you feel that your child is having difficulty, we encourage you to discuss their thoughts and feelings to help them work through their grief or concerns. Please also consider monitoring and discussing your child’s communications (social media, phone, email, text messaging) to further assess their potential needs.
Please observe your child closely over the next several days and weeks to watch for signs of distress, which may indicate a need for additional support and guidance. Please feel free to call if you have any concerns or questions regarding your child, or the steps being taken by the school to address this loss and tragedy