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Staff, students mourn the loss of Steffan

Staff, students mourn the loss of Steffan

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The atmosphere at the St. Vincent Grammar School at the start of the new school term is a sombre one, as staff and students contemplate the tragic death of one of their own.{{more}}

Fourteen-year-old Steffan Cruickshank, a fourth form student of the school, was killed in a vehicular accident while he was riding his bicycle, on Monday, December 26.

Headmaster of the school Frank Jones told SEARCHLIGHT that the entire school was saddened by the tragedy of Steffan’s passing.

“We saw him as a quiet, well behaved student and he was loved by all. To come from a festive season and start a new year with such tragedy has been a bit of a challenge…” Jones explained.

He further disclosed that close friends and schoolmates of Steffan were given necessary support from the school’s counselor.

“…Very importantly, the Ministry of Education has made additional counselors available to us to support our students so that they can move on from here,” the Headmaster added.

Meanwhile, the emotions were riding high in school library, where SEARCHLIGHT interviewed four of Steffan’s closest friends.

David Caine who grew up with Steffan, said that they went to the same primary school and did almost everything together.

“When I heard about the incident, I was shocked. I feel depressed at the moment. Today I couldn’t focus in class because it was just running through my mind that he is really gone,” the emotional young man said.

Pharell Brown, another student, said that he was at the location where Steffan met his death.

“I was there on the spot and saw Steffan on the ground. It was very shocking and depressing to me because we were friends since Form one and we were like brothers.

“To know that he is really gone and this evening is the funeral, it’s real depressing for me. I am not coping with the fact that he is gone, because recently I am not eating too well. I just can’t believe he is gone.”

Another youngster, Davaskye Debique who also grew up with Steffan and went through the primary school system with him said “it is unbelievable that he is gone”.

“I can’t sleep or eat too well. It’s just shocking to me because when I was told what happened, I took it to heart and in all honesty, I still can’t believe it.”

The fourth friend, Glenroy Cupid, got to know Steffan when they both entered the Grammar School.

“When the incident took place, I heard the news like two hours after. My mother told me and I was shocked, but then I didn’t really believe it was him because I never knew him to ride a bike. I thought it was his cousin. But it was after my step-mother told me again that it was Steffan from La Croix, it was then I was shocked.

“I went by his mother to sympathize with her and she was just crying continuously and that caused me to cry too because it was a very sad moment,” Cupid said.

Reminiscing on the fun days, the four friends had only joyful memories of Steffan.

He was described as the joker among the friends for the way he ran, as well as the funny conversations they had.

“He use to run funny when we played the game Tag. We never caught him because of the way he ran, it was just too funny, so we were always laughing and he would get away,” a saddened David added.

Meanwhile, Steffan’s Form Teacher Fidel Snagg described Steffan as a good student and one of those students who didn’t have to be disciplined.

“He was one student that went about quietly with his work and had few close friends in class….

“Hearing the news of his unfortunate passing in the Christmas season, it was very much a shock of such a young life being lost. It was painful to deal with. I visited his parents and that was another hard situation having to talk to his parents about their loss. It’s a real tragedy,” said Snagg.

Five school buses were hired to transport students from the St. Vincent Grammar school to La Croix for Steffan’s funeral service which took place on Wednesday, January 4.(AA)

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