Gwinnett County high school cheerleader dies in crash; driver arrested on DUI charges – WSB-TV Channel 2
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. – Mill Creek High School in Gwinnett County is mourning the loss of one of its students after a car accident over the weekend.
The Mill Creek cheer team released Sunday afternoon that one of its junior cheerleaders, 16-year-old Caitlyn Pollock, died in the accident the night before.
The driver, 21-year-old Kyle McDowell, is now facing charges.
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Please keep our program in your thoughts and prayers. We lost junior cheerleader, Caitlyn Pollock, in a car accident last night. Please also pray for his family and friends during this difficult time.
– Mill Creek Cheer (@MillCreekCheer) October 30, 2022
Gwinnett County Police said Pollock was a passenger in McDowell’s car when he failed to navigate the on-ramp onto State Route 316, hitting a concrete barrier.
McDowell was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to maintain lane, and first degree vehicular manslaughter.
Channel 2’s Elizabeth Rawlins was at Mill Creek High School on Monday, where it was a very sober day. Students and teachers held a moment of silence to reflect and remember their classmate.
Family spokeswoman Lori D’Adamio said Pollok was loved by all.
“He had a smile that just lit up the room and made you feel good,” D’Adamio said. “Life is precious and it can be taken away in an instant, and Caitlyn was taken away and it shouldn’t have been.”
Rawlins spoke with Pollock’s mother off camera, who said she was getting calls and texts from people in counties she’s never even heard of.
“How does my daughter know people in all these places?” she said. “Because Caitlyn knows everyone.”
It is still unclear how Pollock met McDowell or where they went.
Funeral arrangements are still pending.
Mill Creek High School Principal Jason Lane sent the letter below to the school community:
Dear Parents and Guardians of Mill Creek High School,
It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the tragic loss of one of our Mill Creek High students over the weekend. Our hearts and thoughts are with the student’s family, friends and loved ones as they cope with this tremendous personal loss. On Monday we will hold a special moment of silence in memory of our student, classmate and friend.
This loss can raise many emotions, concerns and questions from our school community, especially from some students. Counselors and social workers will be at our school on Monday to provide support, comfort and reassurance to students who need it. We want to make you aware of these support plans, and also extend the opportunity to talk with your child before they come to school on Monday.
Dealing with death is hard, and it can be very challenging for high school kids. If you find that your child needs help or wants to talk to someone about this situation, do not hesitate to contact the school, as our school counselors are well trained to help children with complex problems like this . Also, below, you will find tips that can help at home if your student is having a hard time with this loss.
Yours at service,
— Jason Lane, principal of Mill Creek High School
Police have not released details about the crash. Channel 2 contacted Gwinnett police about the crash reports.
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