Harrison students dealing with tragedy

CADIZ – Students at Harrison Central Jr./Sr. High School are dealing with the loss of one of their own after a car crash claimed the life of 16-year-old Taylor J. Dowdle.

The one-vehicle crash happened at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Monday night, on County Road 13/Upper Clearfork Road in Archer Township near Cadiz. Dowdle’s vehicle, a 2006 Kia Sorento, was eastbound when it slid off the left side of the road and hit an embankment. The vehicle then overturned and hit a large rock, tree and finally a metal gate before landing on its roof.

Dowdle was pronounced dead at the scene. Her passenger, Jasmine Lynn Evans, also 16, was flown by helicopter to UPMC-Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh. She is listed in stable condition.

A reconstructionist is conducting an ongoing investigation, but speed is already believed to be a factor in the crash. It may take up to a week before the exact cause of the crash is known.

On Tuesday, Harrison Central Principal Brent Ripley issued the following statement:

“Harrison Central Jr./Sr. High School family sends out its deepest sympathies to the family of Taylor Dowdle. Taylor was one of Harrison Central’s finest, always striving to do her best and willing to help others in need. The staff at Harrison Central is doing everything possible to help students cope with the untimely passing of Taylor. Classmates are being encouraged to write a letter to the parents of their favorite memory of Taylor. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dowdle family in their time of grief. Harrison Central will miss Taylor dearly.”

On Tuesday morning the entire school staff met to prepare for student arrival. Students were encouraged throughout the day to speak to counselors who had been brought in specially.

Dowdle was a sophomore who had recently obtained her license. She was an honor roll student who played trumpet in the school’s band.