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PHS loses top ranked student

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Douglas remembered as an ‘awesome friend'
The Ellis County Press

PALMER - Palmer High School junior Alyssa Raborn Douglas, 16, died Friday, Oct. 2 at Ennis Regional Medical Center after she was involved in a one-car accident along FM 813, near mile marker 597, about 1:50 p.m., according to Texas State Trooper Jason Meeks.

'The accident occurred due to her speed through a curve,' Meeks said.

'Her speed was calculated at 68 miles per hour in a 35-mph zone.'

She was driving a 1999 Mercury Cougar when she struck a large tree off the roadway with the passenger side of her vehicle after losing control of the car.

Douglas was transported by ambulance to the Ennis Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at 3:10 p.m.

Palmer Independent School District Superintendent Larry Carson said, 'a crisis management plan is put into place when something like this happens.'

A counselor command center was set up at the high school Tuesday to help students deal with their emotions concerning the loss of their classmate.

Counselors from other scho-ols within the Ellis County Co-op division will also be on hand at the lead center next to the high school to help teachers, administrators and staff deal with the tragedy.

Carson said the counselors would stay 'as long as needed.'

The high school was dismissed early Tuesday, Oct. 7 to allow students, faculty and staff members to attend funeral services for Douglas.

Remembered as a fun, smart teenager, Douglas was ranked first in her junior class at PHS, according to an obituary on the JE Keever Mortuary website, www.jekeevermortuary.com

Fellow classmate Tasha Schiffer fondly remembered Douglas as a great person and 'an awesome friend.'

'She was one of those few people who come along in life and was a really good friend,' Schiffer said.

She said her friend was active in school and enjoyed being a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, the 2002 PHS Homecoming Duchess, and an athletic trainer for the sports teams.

Douglas was very church oriented and attended the First Baptist Church of Palmer on Sundays and participated with the youth group of the First Baptist Church of Red Oak on Wednesday evenings, according to Schiffer.

Survived by her father and step-mother, Steve and Risa Douglas; mother Vivian Douglas; grandparents Lydia Harper, Jack Douglas, Marie Douglas, Wayne and Neal Cheek, Joe and Amy Camp.

Siblings include Jami Navarro, Steven Navarro, Tami Tucker, Jennifer Douglas, Michelle Douglas and Reed Robertson.

Funeral services were held at the First Baptist Church of Red Oak on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m.

She was laid to rest at Holy Redeemer Cemetery in DeSoto.

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