Patrick Bathras, principal at Severna Park High School, summed up in a letter to parents Monday what many in the community are feeling right now: Disbelief over two fatal car accidents last weekend.
Brian McDevitt , a custodian at SPHS and the co-founder of the popular news site, Anne Arundel County Breaking News and Events, and Breanna Franco, a 2011 SPHS graduate, both died as a result of separate car crashes early Saturday.
This tragic news comes to the Falcon families as the school comes to grips with the loss of varsity baseball head coach Jim McCandless , who died unexpectedly Jan. 24.
"We find ourselves grieving once again over the death of members of our Falcon family; sadly, this is the position we find ourselves," Bathras wrote.
McDevitt, of Pasadena, was with the school for seven years as a daytime custodian and was killed in a two-car crash on Fort Smallwood Road early Saturday morning. Bathras described him as being well-liked and part of the school family.
A viewing for Brian McDevitt is scheduled from 3-9 p.m. Friday at Our Lady of the Chesapeake, 8325 Ventor Rd. in Pasadena . A service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the same location. Burial is at the Glen Haven Memorial Cemetery in Glen Burnie.
Breanna Franco, 18, graduated from SPHS in 2011 after one year at the school and is described by Bathras as one who made friends quickly and was well-liked by her teachers and classmates. "She was a conscientious student who was always very concerned about others, and beamed from ear to ear with pride when she received her diploma last year," wrote Bathras in the letter.
Franco was killed in a head-on collision on Maryland Route 50, also on Saturday.
A viewing for Franco is scheduled from 4-8 p.m. Friday at the Barranco & Sons, P.A. Severna Park Funeral Home, 495 Ritchie Highway. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday at the St. John Evangelist Roman Catholic Church .
Counselors were available to SPHS students and staff throughout Monday and will continue to be as needed, Bathras wrote.
He encouraged parents to talk openly with their children about the circumstances and to "help them understand that it’s OK not to have answers to every question."
"Children learn how to deal with grief by watching adults deal with grief, so please do not be afraid to express your emotions in front of your children. Healthy outlets of emotions can be a valuable lesson for them."