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LISBON School mourns death of student



Published: Wed, April 17, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The honor student and athlete was killed in a traffic accident.

By NANCY TULLIS

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LISBON -- Joshua McAllister pitched a no-hitter Thursday for the Blue Devils baseball team.

He was to pitch again Tuesday.

Instead of cheering him on, however, teammates, family and friends mourned his death.

The nearly 400 Lisbon David Anderson High School students left school Tuesday afternoon in silence, many with tear-stained faces.

What happened

Little more than an hour before dismissal, teachers confirmed what students had been hearing all day. McAllister, a junior honor student and baseball and football player, had been killed in a traffic accident on the way to school that morning.

Some students walked alone; others were in groups of two or three, clinging to one another as they walked. Some talked quietly and hugged one another near their cars before driving home.

"You be careful driving," one adult said as a student got behind the wheel.

According to the report by the Lisbon post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, McAllister, 17, of 12579 Trinity Church Road, Lisbon, was driving a Pontiac four-door sedan eastbound on U.S. Route 30 around 7:35 a.m. Tuesday.

Near Depot Road in Hanover Township, the car went left of center and struck a Freightliner box truck head-on.

The patrol said the driver of the truck, Alan S. Jensen, 48, of Maumee, was treated at Salem Community hospital. Jensen was wearing a seat belt; McAllister was not, the patrol said.

Offering support

Principal Donald Thompson said classes will continue, but counselors will be available at the school as long as they are needed.

"It's worse than tough," Thompson said. "This is the first time many of our students have had to deal with the death of a classmate. We will be disrupted and interrupted for several days to come."

Thompson said the school personnel had support from the community, and he received several phone calls from administrators in other districts who have dealt with student traffic deaths, offering condolences, support and suggestions on how to cope.

"You don't have answers, but you want to support the students," he said. "You support them, and you allow them to be with their friends."

Guidance counselor Lana Judy said McAllister was a popular student and academically among the top 10 students in his junior class. She said the high school has about 100 students in each class.

She said counselors from The Lisbon Ministerial Association, Rural Metro Ambulance, The Counseling Center and Family Recovery Center were at the school Tuesday.

"This is a good school and a good community," she said. "We've had an enormous amount of help.

"Josh was a good student -- a bright student," she said. "It's tragic. The students are still in shock. I am still in shock."

Weber Funeral Home in Lisbon is handling arrangements.




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