SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Heavy hearts Friday at Hamlin Middle School as Carlos Perez’ teachers and classmates mourned the loss of their friend.
Carlos died early Friday morning, after being critically injured in a car accident on January 18.
“Unfortunately today was the devastation,” said Kevin Wright, the Principal of Hamlin Middle School. ”We got the news that everybody had hoped would not happen.”
Wright says he got the news about Carlos’ death early in the morning.
“It made my heart hurt, my stomach sick,” said Wright.
Carlos started attending Briggs Middle School in the fall, but for sixth and seventh grade he went to Hamlin. Wright says many of the eighth graders at Hamlin had known Carlos since elementary school, and he too, developed a strong relationship with him.
“There’s something special about him,” said Wright. “Real sweet spirit, real humble. Well-liked by his peers and staff. So, it’s a tremendous loss for our community.”
Wright says several staff members and many students decided to go home after learning the news, not able to focus on the school day.
“School psychologists and councilors from secondary schools all through our district have come over to provide an additional level of support, to help students through this process,” Wright said. “His impact on our community was significant and substantial and we’ll do everything in our power to be responsive and sensitive and provide a level of support that is second to none.”
A fundraiser for Carlos’ family has been scheduled for February 10. It will go on all day at Papa’s Pizza in Springfield. Additionally, an account has been set up through Pacific Cascade Credit Union. To donate, just ask for the account under Misty Davis.