By Jan Carabeo


MINQUADALE, Del. (CBS) — Grief counselors were available at William Penn High School on Friday as students cope with the death of one of their classmates. They began the school day with a moment of silence to honor 16-year-old Jordan Tate.

“She was a very popular young girl. She was involved in ROTC. The principal said she had an infectious smile and laughter that will be missed in the school,” Lauren Wilson from the Colonial School District said.

Tate’s life was cut short when a car she was driving collided with a school bus around 3:40 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Memorial and Karlyn Drives in Minquadale, New Castle County.

Police say the high school junior died at the scene.

“They saw her potential. She will be deeply, deeply missed,” Wilson said.

Three other 16-year-old girls from William Penn High School were in the car with Tate at the time of the accident.

“One of the other passengers of the vehicle was airlifted. She has serious life-threatening injuries,” New Castle County Master Cpl. Michel Eckerd said.

The two other passengers were also taken to the hospital for treatment, but are expected to be OK.

On the bus at the time of the crash were nearly two dozen students from Eisenberg Elementary School.

The Colonial School District says those students were shaken but unharmed.

“The bus driver really acted swiftly and made sure the children were moved to the back of the bus so that they would not see anything that would be upsetting to them,” Wilson said.

Two boys were taken to the hospital as a precaution but were released to their parents.

New Castle County police spent Friday trying to figure out how the accident happened.

Officials say surveillance video could help.

“We’re still in the early stages. These things take time,” Eckerd said.

Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the crash to come forward as they continue to search for a cause.

Students have planned a candlelight vigil for 5:30 p.m. Friday at Memorial and Karlyn.