Death of Woodland Park students shocks community residents




Many local residents, students and community leaders are grieving the tragic loss of three students who attended Woodland Park High School They died in a horrific traffic accident on Saturday as they were returning from a Boy Scout Camp in Wyoming, according to a press release by Woodland Park RE-2 District School officials.

The deceased are Paul Kekich (16) who would have been a junior, Nick Naples (17) who would have been a senior, and Alex Ragan (17) who would have been a senior. In addition to the death of the Woodland Park students, another community member and boy scout troop leader, Richard (Richie) Kleiner, also died in the accident. “These deaths are going to have significant impacts on our Woodland Park community….as we all cope with this tragedy,” said Jed Bowman, Superintendent of Schools for the RE-2 District.

The tragedy also has greatly impacted Woodland Park Mayor Dave Turley (see related letter to the editor). In the wake of this fatal accident, RE-2 officials are putting grief counseling structures in place to help district students, staff and community members. Once more information becomes available, the district will post these details on its website at . “Please keep our families and entire community in your thoughts and prayers as we deal with this tragedy,” concluded Bowman.

A special bake sale has been organized for this Friday and Saturday by friends of the teens to help their families. It will be held in downtown Woodland Park on Friday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the corner of Henrietta and Park and on Saturday at the former Bergstrom Park area from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All proceeds raised from the sale will benefit the families of the teens. For more information, call 686-1847, 748-5477 or 213-1699. In addition, a local memorial fund has been established through the Troop 230 Memorial Fund, Ent Federal Credit Union, 920 Paradise Lodge Lane, Woodland Park, 80863.