Paint Creek ISD students mourn the loss of a friend

By Jason Goodwin, News Director,
POSTED: 4:08 PM Jan 30 2013   UPDATED: 3:02 PM Jan 30 2013
Amber Conn
HASKELL, Texas -

The past few days have been deadly for Big Country drivers. Since Friday, nine people have died in crashes.

One of them was Paint Creek ISD 7th grader – 14-year-old Amber Conn. She died and several others were injured in a crash that occurred Monday morning on FM 618 near the intersection of Farm Road 600.     

Grief counselors were on hand for Paint Creek students and faculty Tuesday.

Superintendent Don Ballard said some of the faculty saw the crash and tried to help.

At her school, Amber was known as a hard worker and good student.

She was No. 25 on the Lady Pirates’ basketball team. Out of respect, Paint Creek ISD has canceled the rest of its girls' basketball season.

"It felt like the right thing to do," Ballard said.

According to authorities, the driver of the vehicle – a 16-year-old boy – overcorrected after he had gone off the road, causing the Expedition he was driving to overturn. A Department of Public Safety spokesperson said the teenage driver's inexperience likely contributed to the crash.

Meanwhile, the condition of two children who were hurt in the crash remained hospitalized Wednesday.

Zander Elias, 4, is listed in good condition --  and Danica Elias, 9, is listed in fair condition. The two were flown to Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth after the accident.

The crash remains under investigation.