DRAIN, Ore. — A tragic start to the school year for the community of Drain; after dealing with a student who died from an accidental shooting Thursday, North Douglas School District has now lost a staff member.
The district has cancelled classes for the first day of school on Tuesday after the death of both Austin Lundeen and the North Douglas Elementary School office manager.
According to the district’s website, her name was Debby Huckins.
Tragedy initially struck Thursday when Lundeen was spending the night at his friend’s house and the two decided to handle a hunting rifle. The firearm unexpectedly went off and killed Lundeen.
Friends said the death came as a shock and initially thought it was a bad dream.
Even days after the accident, friends said they are still mourning and still remember how they felt when they read the text messages that revealed the heart breaking news.
“I was just like, shocked. All the memories are running through my mind,” said Victoria LaChapelle, a friend of Lundeen.
Because the small community of Drain is so tight knit, news quickly spread about the death of Huckins, who Lundeen’s friends also knew.
The superintendent said she died suddenly friday. There’s no word yet on how she died.
She was the office manager at the elementary school for the last 20 years.
“Well, she was really friendly and she was nice. Sometimes when I was late, she’d always be like ‘Hi, Cheyenne,’” said Cheyenne Smith, also a friend of Lundeen who knew Huckins.
Students said although going back to school will be emotionally difficult, they wish the first day was not postponed so they can move forward.