LRHS loses sophomore in tragic accident

Saleh Jamal Abdullah, 16-year-old sophomore, died Sunday morning, April 10, as a result of a driving accident. Abdullah pulled over the center line, over-corrected, and struck four trees at the speed of 45 mph. According to the police report, he was not wearing a seat belt and airbags did not deploy. Drugs and alcohol did not contribute to the wreck. He died after transport to Duke Hospital.

The following Monday morning, Leesville staff were notified of the event and read a prepareed statement to their classes at 7:30 a.m., though most were already aware. The school even brought in extra counselors for grieving students and staff.

Friends and fellow students spent Sunday night posting the WRAL article on Facebook and dedicating their statuses to the student. Many others were made aware of the tragedy through this social networking and began posting personal memoirs of Abdullah.

Courtney Moore, sophomore, said, “I saw it on Facebook, but people are always putting stupid things up, so I didn’t believe it until I read the article.” Since this time she has created a Facebook page called “In Loving Memory of Sal <3,” which posted pictures and videos in memory of Abdullah and information about memorial services. “It hits me when I walk in the hallway. [I will] never run into him again.” commented Moore.

Many students and teachers went to Abdullah’s memorial service at The Islamic Center of Raleigh, Tuesday night to pay respects and see his family. Among them was Mr. Lyons, who explained that Abdullah’s family, friends, teachers, and spiritual leader talked to visitors about “not making silly mistakes and how fate is predetermined.” An Arabic prayer was also given by the members of the Islamic Center.

“I wasn’t able to go to the service [Tuesday night] ,but I wish I could have,” said Mrs. McGarry, Abdullah’s English teacher, who was upset to hear such tragic news of one of her students. “Sal was a good student and had many friends in my classes.”

Corey Joe, sophomore, was a close friend of Abdullah. Like Moore, he did not believe the news when he was told by a friend until he looked up the article. “Sal was fun and a lot of people liked him.” Joe says talking about Abdullah with friends and going to the memorials has helped him cope with the accident.

To preserve the memory of his friend, Joe hopes to get a tattoo with Abdullah’s name and the date of the accident. “This way I can always remember him.”

LRHS has suffered a great loss with death of Sal Abdullah. Staff and students will never forget him and the impression he left. Abdullah will always be a part of the class of 2013 and will be greatly missed by all.

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