Students grieve death of classmate

By Sean Moody | 

It was certainly a somber day at Knox County Middle School as many of the 500 students who came to class today walked through the doors without their friend. Principal Kelly Sprinkles watched Shane Smith grow up and he says today is one of the worst days of his academic career.

"A lot of shock. It's just so unexpected," he says.

Shane was killed last night while he was trying to cross Highway 25E a couple of miles north of Barbourville. Police say one car hit him and threw him into the emergency lane where he was hit by a second car trying to avoid the first impact. Today, students left messages on Shane's locker and throughout the halls of the school.

"We told them that there's a time to grieve and that time is now, but I also told the students to focus on Shane and what we knew about him and to share memories of him-that student that walked up and down these hallways," says Sprinkles.

Sprinkles says Shane was a good student who always did what was asked of him in the classroom.

"Shane was a great kid. He was a people-pleaser. He got along great with his classmates. Teachers always thought a whole lot of Shane," says Sprinkles.

As for coming up with a memorial at the school for Shane, Principal Sprinkles says he'll leave that up to the students. Donations for Shane's funeral expenses can be made at any Forcht Bank. The Knox County Middle School will hold a benefit car wash Saturday from 10AM to 2PM in the gym parking lot.