By Nancy Kelly
Students and staff at West Kings District High School are mourning the loss of a member of their school community.
Seventeen year-old Cody Swinimer, a Grade 11 student, was killed in the early evening on March 5 after being struck from behind by a vehicle while walking near his rural home in Factorydale, south of Aylesford.
At 7:55 p.m. on March 6, Kings District RCMP, Emergency Health Services and the Aylesford Fire Department responded to a 911 call on Hall Road that a pedestrian had been hit from behind by a westbound vehicle.
A second pedestrian who was walking with Swinimer at the time was not injured, nor was the driver of the truck.
The teen was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 8 p.m. Within hours, word of his death had spread on social networking sites.
A Facebook page, titled In Memory Of Cody Swinimer, remembers the teen for being “an awesome friend, son, uncle to many,” and for having “a unique sense of humour and gentle kindness.”
When students arrived at West Kings on the morning of March 6, a crisis intervention team was prepared to help students and staff cope with their shock and sadness. School liaison officer Norm Branch was also on hand.
In a memo circulated to parents and guardians, school principal Barry Squires explained the school was responding by facilitating informal in-class opportunities to discuss Swinimer’s sudden passing and offering additional supports as requested.
“Students will be provided with the opportunity to discuss the loss of their fellow student. Those who require support beyond the teacher-facilitated classroom discussion will be encouraged to speak individually or in small groups with trained crisis team members.”
Squired anticipated a number of students would be “experiencing grief and stress in response to Cody’s untimely death,” and offered condolences on behalf of West Kings.
“The thoughts and sympathies of the entire Wolverine family are with Cody’s family as they deal with this tragedy.”
An accident re-constructionist was on the scene of the accident. Investigation into the incident is ongoing.