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Kiski Area High students remember classmate, 16, killed in sledding accident

| Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, 12:07 a.m.

A solemn gathering in their school's atrium marked the return of Kiski Area High School students from their winter break on Wednesday.

The students were remembering classmate Jenna Prusia, 16, an 11th-grader who died as the result of a sledding accident Friday.

A funeral for Prusia of Washington Township was held on New Year's Day.

High school Principal Chad Roland said the atrium was full for the morning gathering, where students shared stories of Prusia's life and how she has impacted them.

“It's a tragic loss. It's a tremendous loss to our school,” Roland said. “Jenna was a great student and even a better person. She had an impact beyond her years.”

Grief counselors were available on Wednesday and will be in the school through the week for students to talk to, Roland said. He said a “good bit” of students were availing themselves of the help.

“We were ready for the worst,” he said.

Prusia had been sledding with her identical twin sister, Ashton, in Bell Township. She suffered head injuries when the sled they were riding hit a tree on property along McCreary Road. She died about two hours later at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Her sister was not injured.

Prusia's death was especially hard on her class and the volleyball team, of which she was a member, Roland said.

While further memorials are being discussed, nothing specific was yet planned, Roland said.

Students visited her locker, placing pictures and notes there.

Absences were normal for the day. Roland said the funeral may have offered closure for some, and students were looking forward to “getting back to some normalcy.”

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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