2 Ball High School students killed in accident involving garbage truck

By Melissa Hawkes, Nakia Cooper - Senior Web Editor

GALVESTON, Texas - Two teenagers were killed in an accident involving a garbage truck in Galveston Friday morning. Galveston police said 16-year-old Chris Ragle, and the passenger Gabriella Giles, were pronounced dead at the scene. Friday afternoon grief counselors were on hand at Ball High School to help students grieve.

"I saw kids in class they were upset, some were going to the counselor crying, because it's just a tragic moment," one student told Local 2.

According to Galveston police, the teens were traveling in a Ford F-150 eastbound on Stewart Road at 85th Street at around 5:46 a.m. when Ragle lost control, went into a side skid and crossed into the westbound lane of traffic. A Republic Services garbage truck hit the F-150 on the passenger side.

"We don't know why he lost control. If it was a mechanical issue, we don't know if it was a medical issue," said Galveston Chief of Police Henry Porretto.

Galveston Independent School District officials found out the students were killed 15 minutes before the start of school.

"There was not an announcement made, but as you know social media, the word was already out among out students," Galveston ISD spokesperson Dyann Polzin said.

Both students were juniors at Ball High School and were involved in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program. Friends of the students say they were on their way to school early to work on a science project.

"It's a time of shock, disbelief and very, very sadness for the students," said Polzin.

Family members picked up many of the students early from school. Jessica Ventura said her sister asked her to come pick her up.

"She started crying, she didn't know what to do," Ventura said.

She said her sister knew Giles well.

"She was real calm and a happy girl," said Ventura.

Grief counselors will be back at the school Monday morning when school gets underway. Investigators said it will be at least a week until the exact cause of the accident is determined.

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