Two Standish elementary schools are providing counseling after a weekend crash killed a third-grade student and critically injured a school custodian.

Owen Oates, an 8-year-old student at Edna Libby, died in the crash Saturday morning. His parents – Vincent Oates, 51, and Kerry Oates, 46 – were critically injured in the crash on Route 35. Danilo Warrick, 75, of Standish, who was driving one of three cars involved in the accident, was also taken to Maine Medical Center with critical injuries.

Warrick was in serious condition Monday, said Maine Medical Center spokesman Clay Holtzman. Warrick is a custodian at Edna Libby and George E. Jack elementary schools, according to school officials.

Vincent Oates has been upgraded to serious condition and Kerry Oates remained in critical condition Monday night, Holtzman said.

The crash remains under investigation and no new information about a possible cause was available Monday, according to Capt. Craig Smith of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. The road conditions at the time of the crash were unknown, but will likely be looked at by an accident reconstruction team, police said.

Warrick – known as “Mr. Dan” to students and staff – has been a custodian at Edna Libby for 26 years. The school’s Sunshine Committee launched an online fundraiser to support Warrick as he heals. The fundraiser had raised more than $4,400 by Monday afternoon.

“He adores our students and goes above and beyond in supporting them and the events at our school,” organizer Marissa Cutter wrote on the GoFundMe page.

A separate GoFundMe page was set up over the weekend for the Oates family. By Monday afternoon, nearly 700 people had donated a total of more than $45,000.

The organizer of the GoFundMe page for the Oates family said Monday that Vincent was out of surgery, but faces a long recovery period.

In a message to parents posted on Facebook, staff from both Edna Libby and George E. Jack elementary schools said counselors were available to parents Monday morning to provide information about how to communicate with their children about the death of a peer.

When Edna Libby students return to school Thursday from winter break, teachers will start the day with a brief discussion with their class about what happened. After that, counseling services will be available for students. A supervised quiet place will be set aside on Thursday and Friday for students who need space to process.

School officials said in the note to parents that counseling support will be focused on Edna Libby students and staff, but staff at George E. Jack will monitor students for signs of distress.

 

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