There was enough emotion already attached to this day. It starts the final week of the school year for Rome City Schools, coming a day after baccalaureate services at Fellowship Baptist Church and with an eye on the weather for Saturday’s graduation currently slated for Barron Stadium (at The Forum if it rains).
But school administrators, especially at Rome High, are prepared for something. One of the freshman class members, 14-year-old Josue Andres Lopez, died Saturday afternoon in a drowning accident at Little River Falls. On Sunday, the school system announced plans to have additional counselors and others on campus today to help students cope with the Mother’s Day weekend shock.
Rome City Schools mourns loss of RHS freshman: “Rome City Schools is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Rome High School ninth grade student, Josue Andres Lopez. RHS counselors, and additional system representatives, will be available throughout each day this week on campus to assist students during this difficult time. Our thoughts are with the Lopez family and all of those affected by this loss.”
In context: Barely a year ago, the communities of Rome and Rockmart were coping with the deaths of two loved ones at Little River Falls and Little River Falls Canyon. An 18-year-old Rockmart man died in early June, roughly a week after a slip contributed to the death of a Rome man. Background / Later that summer, the National Parks Service staged a program in an attempt to save live sthere called “13 ways not to die at Little River Canyon National Preserve.” Sadly, the 2018 death toll is under way, this time with another Rome victim.
From WEIS 100.5 FM/990 AM: “At approximately 1:36 Saturday afternoon (CDT), DeKalb County 911 received a call of a possible drowning in the vicinity of Martha’s Falls at Little River Canyon National Park. First responders from Dekalb Ambulance Service, Dekalb County Rescue Squad, US National Park Rangers, Fisher Rescue Team, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Water Patrol Division and Aviation division began searching for the subject who apparently went under the water but never resurfaced.
“At approximately 2:15 p.m., the body of a 14-year-old Hispanic male was recovered downstream from where the incident occurred at. His body was recovered using a Short Haul Recovery operation with the ALEA Aviation Unit. He was pronounced dead by Cherokee County Coroner Dr. Jeremy Deaton on scene.
“The deceased is a student at Rome City School System and his name will be released pending notification of all the next of kin.”
From Hometown: We have notes into Rome City Schools administrators for additional information. The school system starts the final week of the 2017-18 school year on Monday.
So far this year: A 17-year-old Huntsville boy was rescued at Little River Falls on April 24, according to this report from AL.com.