Upper Perkiomen High School students mourn death of recent graduate

RED HILL, Pa. (WPVI) -- Students looked solemn Tuesday morning as they returned for the first day of school at Upper Perkiomen High School since a recent graduate was killed in a crash over the weekend.

"Seeing someone your age or maybe a little bit older die it really sets something on you and makes you want to look at life differently," said Virginia Smith, a senior.

Sunday night, Daniel Pierson and Michelle Goodwin were passengers in a pick-up truck that veered off of John Fries Highway in Milford Township, Bucks County.

The two 18-year-olds had just left their jobs at a Dairy Queen in Pennsburg, Montgomery County. Pierson and Goodwin both died.

The 17-year-old driver survived and remains hospitalized with serious injuries. Pierson attended Upper Perkiomen High School. Virginia Smith dated him years ago.

"Knowing somebody since elementary, middle school - it hurts," she said.

Monday night, dozens gathered at the Dairy Queen where the two worked and there wasn't a dry eye in the room. On Tuesday, grief counselors were made available for students who were struggling to process the tragedy.

Students said just last year another classmate suddenly died due to a medical condition.

"It's hard on the kids here," said Linda Kalmar, a parent. "It really is because it's been too much within a year."

"Don't take life for granted," said Smith. "You're not invincible."

While the crash happened during the snowstorm, police say the cause is still under investigation.
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