LOWER MERION, Pa. (CBS) – Lower Merion High School students are remembering a beloved principal who was killed in a car crash over the weekend. All Lower Merion Schools were closed Monday as a memorial grew by the minute outside Lower Merion High School for Sean Hughes.
“Both of my sons graduated from this school and he was just an amazing person, and it’s such a great loss,” parent Ofrit Barash tells CBS3.READ MORE: How The New COVID-19 Variant Impacts Your Travel Plans
Sean Hughes, commonly called “Hughes,” had a popular phrase where he would say “character counts.” Students say that’s just one of the things that will stick with them always.
On Monday afternoon students came to the school for one reason only.
“We’re just here to remember our principal Mr. Hughes,” student Gracie Ollie said. “We’re seniors so we should have been his most recent graduating class.”
Sean Hughes died Saturday morning in a two-vehicle crash on Fleming Pike and Hay Street in Winslow Township. According to police his vehicle and another collided in the intersection.
The district says he was taking his teenage son to a soccer game. His son and the driver of the other vehicle survived the crash. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
“I keep thinking about his kid, Nolan, and just what a terrible experience for him that must have been, so the only proper thing I could do was to come and pay my respects,” student Oliver Browning said.READ MORE: What We Know And Don't Know About The Omicron Variant
Browning along with hundreds of students packed the parking to do just that.
“It was sad,” student Kaden Blackwell said. “It’s never actually like a good thing to hear someone tell the stories of how they had a good experience with someone and they passed.”
Students told Eyewitness News this was their first year getting to see Hughes after the pandemic.
The principal of 14 years was known for greeting students at ninth-grade orientation and seeing them as they depart four years later.
“I was really looking forward to him handing me my diploma, giving me like a little shake and pat on the back and saying ‘thank you’ and kind of sad that didn’t happen,” Blackwell said.
Meantime, CBS3 is told a student started a Change.org petition to name the district’s new middle school after Hughes.
A district spokesperson says it’s too soon to say how Hughes will be memorialized.MORE NEWS: Shopping Online This Holiday Season? Why You Need To Protect Yourself