KENOSHA — Monday, December 10th was back to school for the first day since Westosha Central High School lost one of its own over the weekend in a car crash. Staff, students and the victim’s family worked to help students deal with the loss of their classmate.
The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department said Monday their investigation has wrapped up. Sheriff’s officials say speeding is what caused 16-year-old Casey Petricek to veer into oncoming traffic.
On Monday, Petricek’s parents made a surprise stop at her school to console her friends.
Petricek’s death is having a big impact on her classmates at Westosha Central High School. Many spent Monday in the counseling center, working through the reality of her death.
“Our school is now different. It has changed. We lost one of our own. They’re all legitimate feelings. They’re hurting. They lost somebody and it’s just trying to sort all that stuff out,” Keith Olsen said.
Messages to Petricek and her family were scrawled across a green banner and green cards encouraged more private messages. Green was Petricek’s favorite color.
“Writing them down on the memory cards, what it does is it kind of gives them an opportunity to take what’s on the inside and get it out,” Olsen said.
Sheriff’s officials say Petricek was driving on Highway 142 just after 3:00 on Friday afternoon, December 7th. After losing control and crashing into another car, Petricek was airlifted to Froedtert Hospital where she died on Saturday.
Two days later, Petricek’s parents and sisters helped students through the grieving process.
“I was going to contact the family this morning just to send my condolences and ask how the school could help them when they came in this morning. I can’t imagine the strength it took do to that. They’re a wonderful family and any kind of support we can provide them, we want to do that,” Lisa Albrecht said.
In addition to stopping by the counseling center, the Petricek’s went to Casey’s favorite class: anatomy.
“The teacher brought a rose and the kids brought a flower for her desk and put a picture on her desk just to say that she was there in spirit and wrote cards and that. When the family came in, it was just such a nice beginning of the healing process,” Albrecht said.
Petricek was an aspiring surgeon, and is still saving lives as her organs are being donated. Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized.