ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Eleven-year-old Zaelynn Wiseman was struck and killed by a vehicle on I-270 Tuesday morning. Missouri State Highway Patrol said they are continuing to investigate. It’s not clear why Wiseman was trying to cross the highway.
Wiseman was a sixth-grader at Parkway Northeast Middle School. His family sent FOX 2 this statement Tuesday:
“Our family is mourning the loss of our beloved Zaelynn. He was a very special child; a unique individual who always saw the best in everyone. He loved animals, karate, and Minecraft. He gave the best hugs and was truly full of love. He loved his family and his Parkway family – he attended Green Trails Elementary, McKelvey Elementary and was a 6th grader at Parkway North Middle School.”
The school’s principal sent a letter to parents Tuesday announcing available counseling for students at the middle school.
“In this case, the sixth-grade counselors will go and meet with every single one of that student’s classes as well as a social worker,” Parkway School District’s Coordinator of Counseling and Character Education Erin Schulte said.
Schulte said the counselors will tell the students what happened if they don’t know and help them process and grieve. Although, she said virtual counseling brings about new challenges.
“We can’t hug kids, we can’t offer them our physical presence as support and those are things we rely on in normal times,” Schulte said. “It’s a big thing that we worry about that kids are just now grieving on their own and not having the support of each other so that’s why we are working hard to offer so many sessions for them to log in virtually.”
Since Wiseman was just promoted from elementary school, the district is also working with students and teachers on counseling needs at his former elementary school.
“This is the hardest part of my job for sure, it will never be easy and you just feel for their family, you feel for the students who lost a friend entirely too young,” Schulte said.