Tragedy Strikes District 218 Family


Photo courtesy of ABC7.

Lilly King, Staff Reporter

On the dreary morning of February 4, a Richards high school freshman died due to a hit and run.

Many mourned the loss of 15 year old, Amira Nairat, a District 218 member, who was struck and killed by a drunk driver.  The driver had hit two other cars, thankfully no one else was hurt, before finally reaching Nairat.  The driver, a 25 year old man, who before his arrest lived in Oak Lawn.

Richards Principal Mike Jacobson, shared on the schools Facebook page, “Amira was a quiet but kind student.  She was so dedicated to her studies and the happiness of her classmates.  While she was just a freshman, her teachers spent the entire day reflecting on her achievements and the value she added to our school…”. He went into further detail by describing how distraught the Bulldog community is.

Our Superintendent Dr. Ty Harting also made comment that morning, “This morning we received devastating news that one of our students, Amira Nairat, was tragically struck and killed by a car right outside of the High School.  As we are struggling to find the meaning in this senseless death we want to offer our condolences and deepest sympathy to Amira’s family, friends, and her classmates.  May she rest in peace.”

The school also brought in grief counselors, which was able help the school get through the devastating time.  The days that followed Nairat’s death were filled with anguish and grief, the school even held a memorial service by the flagpole in memory of such a hardworking student.

The tragic accident occurred at 7:46 a.m., Monday February 4, as Nairat was crossing Central Avenue at 107th Street on her way to school, right across the street from Richards.  Flowers were placed near the accident.

The reckless driver had been reported to be drunk and was apparently arrested the night before for stealing alcohol from Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park.  When he was released he allegedly went to a friend of his, and drank even more alcohol, before finally getting into his car – while intoxicated – he then hit those two cars and the Richards student.

To infinitely remember such a incredible student, donations were collected for a Water Well in Amira’s honor.  Many people heartbroken by this devastating loss, donated to help make the well possible which allowed the funds to be raised  in 24 hours.

According to a website called MADD, each day 300,000 plus people drive under the influence and only 2,800 are caught.  These thoughtless drivers are the cause of 10,876 deaths a year that involve drunk driving.  Some solutions the site talks about are sobriety checkpoints.  Sobriety checkpoints can be found in the roads and every fourth person is stopped and checked, this has reduced fatalities by 20%.  Another enforcement the site stresses is ignition interlock, this is a device hooked up to the ignition of a previous offenders car.  The driver has to blow into a device in order to start the car.  If any trace of alcohol is found the car will not start for the driver.

This traumatic death of a District 218 student, has hopefully taught everyone the lesson to always be cautious and careful when driving.  If he had not been drinking and driving he could have spared the life of Amira and sorrow of many.  Freedom 7 newspaper gives our condolences to her family.