- Associated Press - Monday, September 1, 2014

NEWTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Students and parents gathered at a school district on Monday to mourn three high school sophomores who were killed in an SUV crash.

The three Council Rock High School South students who died in Saturday morning’s crash were 15-year-old Ryan Lesher, of Churchville, 15-year-old Shamus Digney, of Holland, and Cullen Keffer, whose age and hometown weren’t released.

The crash happened in Paupack Township, Wayne County, about 100 miles north of Philadelphia. Three other people were hurt.

“Council Rock offers its sincere condolences to the families of these students and to all who are grieving this terrible loss,” Superintendent Mark Klein said in a notice on the district’s website.

The school, which provided counselors, remained open on Labor Day “to allow for our school community to grieve,” officials said. Classes will be held Tuesday as scheduled.

Everyone at Monday’s session at the school was crying, 16-year-old junior Jake Cardonick, a neighbor of Keffer, told the Bucks County Courier Times.

“I used to play Wiffle ball with him all the time,” Cardonick said. “He was a warm-hearted person.”

Principal Robert Funk called the deaths a devastating loss to the community.

“They were three bright lights and three tremendous individuals that shared their gifts and talents with CR South,” he said. “Those bright lights were extinguished way too soon.”

Lesher had just made the soccer team, was business student of the month in January and volunteered with a club involved with the Special Olympics, his uncle Frank Ross told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Keffer’s aunt Beth Abrams described him as a good student and accomplished athlete, “the kind of person who just drew people to him.”

John Radick, the assistant principal and athletic director, said the deaths were tragic.

“It’s devastating to the school community, to their friends, their teammates,” he told the Inquirer. “But most of all, our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.”

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