Seneca High School student killed on Poplar Level remembered for her smile

Seneca teen remembered

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Friday is the last day of class for Seneca High School seniors,  but the tragic loss of yet another classmate has put the summer celebrations on hold.

Police report 17-year-old Lunden Pope ran into traffic on Poplar Level Road last night at 5 p.m. and was hit by a car that had the green light. She died Friday morning in the hospital.

Pope is the third member of the Seneca High school graduating class to die in the last four years.

"The biggest thing that we will all remember about Lunden is her smile. She had an amazing smile and if you've seen pictures, you know that,” Kim Morales, the Seneca High School Principal said.

Flipping through this year's Seneca High School yearbook, Lunden Pope's smile decorates multiple pages.

Morales said, "She excelled here. Attendance was excellent. Not a behavior referral on her record. She was really involved in the band, and she also maintained a 3.6 GPA.”

Pope is described as a stellar student, talented flute player, and classroom favorite, for students and their teachers.

"Lunden was the kind of kid that you didn't just teach, you fell in love with. So it's greatly impacted our staff and our kids,” Morales said.

Her tragic death was shaking the entire school Friday. A therapy dog was on site to help comfort her classmates while crisis management teams worked on the inside to provide counseling to those who need it.

"Lots of kids are very upset, very sad. This is the third member of the senior class that we have lost in the last four years,” Morales explained.

Losing one of their classmates to suicide and a second in a train crash in 2015, the pain of grief is a familiar feeling for this group of teenagers. 

"I think it’s just a real reminder for them that they aren't invincible,” Morales said.

Now, the only choice she has is to help them move forward once again, help them remember all the good, and help them commemorate another young life lost from Seneca High School.

Pope was set to graduate from Seneca High School on Thursday, May 25. The ceremony will include a moment of silence for Pope and her other classmates that did not make it to graduation.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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