GREENSBURG – Friends of a North Decatur High School sophomore who was killed in a two-vehicle accident Tuesday remembered the 15-year-old as sweet, bold and carefree – with an adventurous spirit thrown in for good measure.
Above all, they remembered Lindsay K. Noah as a devoted friend whose personality embraced everyone she met.
The Greensburg resident lost her life when the eastbound car she was riding in just before 6 p.m. on County Road 500N failed to stop at the State Road 3 intersection, according to the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department. The driver (her 18-year-old brother) went through the stop sign and into the path of a pickup truck.
Many of the girl’s classmates heard about the death that night through social media outlets, including Facebook and Twitter. But facing the reality the next morning was still difficult for many who cried, hugged and reminisced on a day of final exams.
Carmen Zavala, a sophomore, said the death of her friend was so distressing that she had to read each question on one of her exams about five times to understand it.
The school put its two counselors to work, brought in another from South Decatur High School and hosted a St. Maurice Catholic Church youth minister to meet with students who needed to talk, North principal Gary Cook said.
Jackie Blair, who was Noah’s counselor, said counselors were available to distraught students who swung by their offices between classes. They also reached out in some cases to students who they knew would be having a hard time but wouldn’t necessarily take the proactive step of seeking emotional support on their own.
Providing a challenge was that class finals were scheduled for Wednesday. As such, teachers who were upset about the death themselves, had the added challenge of getting students to relax enough to take the test and perform to their fullest abilities.
In most cases, the students were able to do so, even in the class where Lindsay would have been taking a first-period English final with them. In a couple of other cases, students were excused from the test until later this week due to their close relationship with Lindsay and the likelihood that they would not be able to concentrate.
“I told my students (who were crying) at the beginning of class that they could go to the restrooms to wash their faces for a few minutes,” English teacher Shirley Stotts said. “Six or seven did that. Then I tried to build a sense of normalcy.”
Fortunately, the school day ended at 2:25 p.m. instead of the usual 3:25 p.m. because of a previously designated early release day. But students still found time to try to dry their eyes long enough to laugh a little as they remembered their friend’s unique humor.
Maddie Ryle, who was Lindsay’s best friend, said she last saw Lindsay at her fun-loving best the day of the accident. She and other friends fondly remembered the day Lindsay hosted a party for her own 15th birthday and climbed on top of a van to “car surf.”
The antics were immortalized in the school yearbook.
“She could always make people laugh,” Ryle said.
Contact: Paul Minnis 812-663-3111 x7401; email@example.com