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Counselors to help Johnston County students deal with loss of classmates

Posted March 30, 2010

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— Grief counselors will be at West Johnston High on Tuesday helping students and faculty deal with the death of two students.

Christopher Paul Kosmos, 18, of Angier, and his girlfriend, Alissa Chenette, 16, of Clayton, died on Monday when their vehicle ran off a flooded road and overturned in a creek.

The vehicle hit standing water on Steel Bridge Road, near Lee Road, around 7 a.m. and swerved off the road, colliding with a ditch, said Sgt. Jorge Brewer with the state Highway Patrol. It landed upside down in a creek that was swollen with heavy rains.

Christopher Paul Kosmos and Alissa Chanette (Photo courtesy of F Counselors to help Johnston County students deal with loss of classmates

Kosmos' body was found in the swamp about 150 feet from the vehicle. Chenette was found still belted into the SUV's passenger seat.

"It's like losing a member of your own family. So it will deeply impact this district," Johnston County Schools spokeswoman Terri Sessoms said.

Kosmos, a senior, had just become Tuba leader in the band. He had switched from bass clarinet because the band needed more tubas to go to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

Chenette, a junior, was a member of the school's colorguard.

"Both loved their school and had a zest for life. Their cheerful smiles and greetings always brightened my day," principal Brookie Honeycutt said.

Neighbors said the creek the teens landed in rarely overflows, but overnight Sunday, four inches of rain fell fast.

"If it's dark and you're coming around the curve and down the hill, you can hit the water easily before you know it," local pastor David Sutphin said.

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  • wildcat Mar 30, 2010

    WHO COUNSELS THE COUNSELOR?

  • wildcat Mar 30, 2010

    special driver training class to help prevent accidents like this.

    They will not listen. Another tragedy will occur. When the parents back is turned, it is not surprising what their child will do. Temptation is all around.

  • wildcat Mar 30, 2010

    when tragedy has struck in my life the last person I would want to deal with is an appointed counselor.

    I absolutely agree with you. Unless you have had a loss of that kind, how can you (counselor) talk to someone about it. For example: Counselor you still have your mother - client just recently lost his/her mother. How can you tell the client anything. Now if the counselor has experience this, they can talk. Books don't solve emotions of how one feels.

  • wildcat Mar 30, 2010

    wildcat, when soldiers came home from viet nam, the proper support structure wasn't in place either. not comparing classmate deaths to viet nam, sorry to hear of your sister.
    MileageDontPlayDat

    Thanks for your nice comment but I still keep my sister memories. It was just the four of us (father, mother, sister and me). They have all passed away. I am still here by the grace of God.

    Viet Nam was never recognized like they do war heroes today. Many lives was lost. I often wonder what the news media was doing back then.

  • Justin T. Mar 30, 2010

    wildcat and mileage... thanks much for your comments. I am just a relic, I guess, but personally when tragedy has struck in my life the last person I would want to deal with is an appointed counselor. When we lost friends in high school we turned it into a series of community events. Of course, in those days we could actually have a group prayer, have local choirs sing, etc.

    I don't know where we're going these days but it seems like the government has a quick fix for all that ills society.

    Also, sorry for jumping to conclusions about comments being unduly censored. If someone is ranting and off topic, fair enough.

  • MileageDontTakeYourKidsCrap Mar 30, 2010

    wildcat, when soldiers came home from viet nam, the proper support structure wasn't in place either. not comparing classmate deaths to viet nam, but more so comparing the fact that 'back then', those things just didn't exist. perhaps someone identified a need for grief counseling and put it into action. :) ps, sorry to hear of your sister.

  • MileageDontTakeYourKidsCrap Mar 30, 2010

    justin, its not that all the comments have to be sympathetic, but this Myra person went on a rant about how having counselors at the school to aid in the grieving process is costing tax payers money. Not really conducive to a productive conversation, so the comment was deleted.

  • wildcat Mar 30, 2010

    It is very interesting how they have counselors today, but when I lost my sister at the age of 18 in 1969 and never got the chance to graduate with her class, there was no such thing for the students. friends and staff. What made the change I wonder?

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Mar 30, 2010

    Sad issue.

    Maybe the school (state?) can also take this opportunity (maybe in a month or so?) to do a special driver training class to help prevent accidents like this. The kids are probably more receptive at the moment and more likely to get the answer to their constant question of, "why should I listen?"

  • FireFaerie88 aka snugglebunny Mar 30, 2010

    God bless the families of these two kids.

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