GREENFIELD — It was unusually quiet Monday morning as students arrived at Greenfield-Central High School.
Small groups shuffled toward the building together, their heads hung low. They spoke in hushed voices.
They gathered in a crowd near the front of the building, most wearing their school colors in honor of a classmate who was not among the crowd, one school officials said was just starting to make his mark in the Greenfield-Central community.
Andrew Hall, a sophomore, died Sunday night from injuries he suffered in a traffic accident. He was 15.
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On Monday morning, the crispness of springtime was mellowed by sadness.
Hundreds of Hall’s classmates marched into the building together as a sign of solidarity, a sea of blue that reflected the somber atmosphere. The line was led by some of Hall’s closest friends, baseball teammates and fellow choir members.
The walk lasted only a few minutes but went a long way to show support for the Hall family. Hall’s mother and stepfather, as well as his sister, were also in the accident.
“We had Andrew here Friday, and to come back Monday and realize he’s gone has quite an impact, not just on the teenagers but all of us,” Principal Steve Bryant said.
The crash occurred Sunday afternoon at county roads 500W and 300S in New Palestine.
Hall was a passenger in the backseat of a Ford Edge, driven by his mother, Chandra Meyer. Police said it appears Meyer was heading west on County Road 300S when she failed to stop at a stop sign and was struck by a Toyota minivan heading south on County Road 500W.
Of the four people in the Ford Edge, Hall was the most seriously injured, police said. He was taken by ambulance to New Palestine High School and was airlifted from there to an Indianapolis hospital.
His sister, Jocelyn Hall, a 2014 G-CHS graduate, also was in the backseat. She remains in critical condition, school officials said Monday.
Meyer and her husband, Brian Meyer, who were in the front seat, were uninjured in the crash. The driver of the minivan, Melissa Pitcher, was taken to Hancock Regional Hospital with minor injuries.
Law enforcement officials are trying to determine why Meyer ran the stop sign, but they do not believe speed was a factor in the crash.
Word of the accident spread quickly over social media Sunday, Bryant said, and he was sure most of the student body knew of Hall’s death before coming to school Monday. Students used Facebook and Twitter to develop #BlueforAndrew to plan their memorial observance. Roughly 700 students, more than half the student body, participated in the march.
“I believe they started grieving well before they got to school,” Bryant said. “They were all very quiet during their walk in, and that was a great way to honor him and show their compassion.”
Bryant and members of the school’s crisis team met early Monday to discuss the best way to support the student body and help them deal with Andew Hall’s death. The crisis team consists of high school administrators, counselors, teachers and district staffers. Bryant said the high school’s athletic director was include because Hall was a member of the baseball team.
Members of the baseball team were immediately assembled at the start of the day to speak with varsity coach Rob Miller about the accident.
“It’s a tough day for all of us. Andrew was a really good kid,” Miller said. “But I just told (the players) that we’re a family, and we have to come together as a family. Life isn’t fair sometimes.”
Andrew Hall was an active teen who enjoyed the outdoors, those who knew him said. In addition to baseball, he liked fishing and skateboarding.
Slater Rush, a senior on the baseball team, said Hall was outgoing and always friendly.
“He was just one of those kids who was always helping people out,” Rush said. “He was always there for you.”
Hall was a member of the freshman baseball team last year, Miller said. He also played with the Greenfield Youth Baseball Association for many years.
Counselors and at least one local pastor were made available to students all day Monday in the school’s library and will continue to be available through the week if necessary.
Kim Kile, director of guidance, said her biggest concern was making sure students felt support from the school administration during the grieving process. The crisis team, led by Kile, will continue to meet throughout the week to evaluate what steps to take.
Superintendent Harold Olin said Monday that administrators were prepared to let students grieve in whatever way was most helpful to them.
“It’s going to be an odd day,” he said. “Some of the kids will want to go to the library and talk with someone; others will want to sit and share stories in the back of their classrooms. We just want to do whatever is best for them.”