Crisis team mobilized in wake of teen deaths
In the aftermath of the tragic accident that claimed the lives of three Cibola High School students and a fourth teen-ager on Friday, a team of Yuma volunteers trained in crisis management was deployed to help ease the hearts and minds of the students' grief-stricken friends and teachers.
The Yuma Community/Schools Critical Incident Stress Management Team, or YCCISM, is a network of community professionals that includes school counselors, law enforcement and fire service workers and mental health professionals designed to respond in the aftermath of any kind of school or community crisis that affects school-aged children.
To date, the team, roughly 40 members strong, has maintained a low profile, but Tori Bourguignon, a Kofa High School counselor and founder of YCCISM, held a news conference Monday to let the Yuma community know the resource is available in times of crisis.
Although Bourguignon would not speak specifically about how the team is handling the Cibola crisis so as not to violate confidentiality, she talked for the first time publicly about the team's existence and function.
"We do a good deal of teaching in any response that we do, and so primarily we talk about what folks can do take care of themselves in dealing with the grief issues and some of the traumatic stress symptoms," she said.
Bourguignon said the team's role is not to come in and take over crisis management already in place at a particular school, but rather to augment and support it.
The types of crises in which the YCCISM team specializes include death or suicide of staff or students, natural disasters, man-made disasters, accidents, fires, hostage situations, violent incidents on campus or any other kind of overwhelming traumatic event.
The team has been deployed to several crises over the last couple years, Bourguignon said.
On Friday, Cibola students Miguel Angel Juarez Jr., 16, Aldo Galaviz, 16, and Diana Gil, 16, died after the vehicle they were riding in rolled over on Avenue C, near County 13th Street.
The driver of the vehicle, Juan Manuel Lopez Jr., 19, also died. A fourth Cibola student, a female juvenile whose name has not yet been released, was transported to Yuma Regional Medical Center. No current information was available on her status or condition.
Excessive speed may have been a factor in the accident, according to Lt. Eben Bratcher of the Yuma County Sheriff's Office.
A wake is scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. today at Johnson Mortuary Chapel for Juarez Jr. A rosary will take place at 7 p.m. Funeral services will take place at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, with burial to follow at Desert Lawn.
A wake for Glaviz also will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. today at the Johnson Mortuary chapel, with a rosary at 7 p.m. Funeral services are at 9 a.m. Wednesday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, with burial to follow at the Yuma City Cemetery.
Services for Lopez Jr. are pending at the Integral Family Development funeral home in San Luis Rio Colorado, Son.
Services for Gil are pending at Funerales del Valle funeral home in San Luis Rio Colorado.
Also, aspaghetti dinner will be served beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday in the cafeteria at Cibola, 4100 W. 20th St., to raise funds for the families of the four teen-agers who were killed. Cost is $5 a plate and the proceeds will be split four ways among the families.
Matt Riehl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6851.