Children killed in Cedar Park crash identified
The two children killed in a crash in Cedar Park on Wednesday have been identified as 8-year-old Elijah Chaudhary and 1-year-old Daniel Chaudhary, according to Cedar Park Police.
Elijah was a student at Winkley Elementary in Leander.
It happened at approximately 3:35 p.m. just west of the intersection of Hwy 183 and West Whitestone Boulevard, Cedar Park police say.
Two children inside the SUV were declared dead at the scene. The driver of the SUV, a 31-year-old woman, was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Two occupants of the pickup truck were treated at the scene for minor injuries and released.
In a letter sent to families, Winkley Elementary Principal Donna K. Brady, Ed.D. says the school will have counselors available to students as needed.
Parents are asked to call the school's counseling office at 512-570-6700 if they would like more information.
Read the full letter below:
Dear Winkley Elementary School families,
It is with great sadness that I write this note to you. One of our students died yesterday after being involved in a car accident. Our school community is grieving the loss, and we extend our deepest sympathy to the family.
We want to be sensitive to the needs of our students at this time, so we will have counselors available to them as needed. If you would like more information, please call the Winkley Elementary counseling office at 512-570-6700.
Young children often react differently to traumatic events such as this, even if they did not know the student well. Our counselors have reminded us that it’s important to allow children to express their feelings. I encourage you to do the same, and offer these helpful tips for parents provided by the National Association of School Psychologists.
Provide opportunities to express thoughts and feelings about death through play activities and drawing.
Maintain a normal routine.
Answer questions using concrete descriptions and be prepared to repeatedly answer questions. Older students may ask more detailed questions to try to understand what happened.
Young children may engage in magical thinking and believe they could have prevented the death. Recognize these feelings and fears but do not validate them.
Some children may feel less comfortable showing feelings and seeing expressions of grief in others. Make sure to provide these students with a variety of ways to express grief.
Use words like “death,” “die,” or “dying” in your conversations and avoid euphemisms such as “they went away,” “they are sleeping,” “departed,” and “passed away.” Such euphemisms are abstract and may be confusing, especially for younger children.
Let students know that death is not contagious. Although all human beings will die at some point, death is not something that can be “caught” and it is unusual for children to die.
Watch for changes in your child’s behavior.
Please remember that my door is always open to you and your children. Contact me directly if I can support you and/or your children in any way.
Donna K. Brady, Ed.D.