Multiple deaths leave community in mourning


FORT WAYNE. Ind. (WANE) – A DeKalb High School student was killed in a crash and another was seriously hurt Sunday.

Adding to the grief, a former athletic director and coach as well as a custodian in the district also passed away Sunday.

It was a somber day for the community. So much so that no one was ready to talk to us on camera because they were overcome with emotion and shock.

One friend of Lilliana Morrow did tell NewsChannel 15 she “was an amazing person. Always had a bright smile, outgoing, wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. She was just so sweet, and she set some amazing goals for herself and it breaks my heart she will not be able to do what she wanted to do and what she loved.”

We first told you about that crash Sunday night. It happened around 6 in the 3400 block of County Road 26. Police said 17-year-old Spencer Whan of Fort Wayne was driving east when he lost control and started sliding on ice.

His pickup truck hit a tree on the passenger side killing 16-year-old Lilliana Morrow of Waterloo.

Morrow was a sophomore at DeKalb High School and a member of the girl’s tennis team.

Superintendent Steve Teders said it was too much to talk Monday but did send us this statement:

DeKalb Central Schools is mourning the loss of student, Lilliana Morrow following a tragic automobile accident last evening. Lilliana was a sophomore at DeKalb High School. DeKalb High School Junior, Spencer Whan survived the accident and is recovering in the hospital.

The DeKalb Central family wishes to express our sincerest condolences and prayers to Lilliana’s family. We ask for thoughts and prayers for Spencer as he recovers from his injuries sustained in the accident.

This is a difficult time for the families and friends of both Lilliana and Spencer. School officials have coordinated resources and are prepared to offer students and staff the supports they will need, including grief counseling, today and in the days to come. Again, we will do whatever we can to help each other through this extremely difficult time.

Steve Teders – Superintendent

We learned Monday that former football coach and althetic director Ron Kock died Sunday after battling illness. Kock coached in the 90’s and was well known in the community. He was even inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

We also confirmed the news that a janitor at McKenney-Harrison Elementary, which is in the same district, died Sunday. According to Teders, Roger Means died after a heart attack Sunday.

NewsChannel 15 was told Monday that Whan is getting better.

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