Tragic car accident shakes Kennedy community

Tragic car accident shakes Kennedy community
Sha'Mya Silas courtesy of Sherrie Martinez on Go Fund Me.

By Kathy Chouteau

The Kennedy High Eagle community is mourning the loss of one of its students in a car accident that also caused serious injury to the victim’s cousin, also a Kennedy student.

Rising tenth grader Sha’Mya Silas was among the victims of a collision at 7 p.m. Saturday on northbound I-15 near Baker, Calif. The SUV she was in collided with a semi-truck and caught fire, as first reported by the Victor Valley News. Silas and two others in the SUV were killed while the vehicle’s driver and other passengers were airlifted to the hospital, the Victory Valley News states.

In a letter to the Kennedy community, school Assistant Principal Helene Burks called the news “heart wrenching” and stated that “right now, our priority is to make sure we extend care and support to our students and staff…Our rising tenth graders in particular are reeling from this loss.”

Burks organized a Zoom gathering for students to receive support from Lovonya Dejean Middle School Psychologist LaShante Smith, herself and others last night. Kennedy High School Psychologist Marvette Hill-Harris has also made herself available to support staff members.  

According to Burks, the school will be “looking to build on this support, especially for our ninth grade team from last year.” She also indicated that Kennedy’s Director of African American Achievement William McGee has also extended his support and that of the AASAT team. In her letter, Burks said she would continue to pass along any info she receives in support of the family.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up by Sherrie Martinez, cousin of Silas, to cover funeral costs.

“Sha’Mya was a beautiful, intelligent, young girl who couldn’t wait to become a doctor. She had dreams and goals to become something great in life. Our family is devastated,” stated Martinez on the Go Fund Me page.

For more info about support services being offered at this time, please contact Kennedy High School’s main office at 510-231-1433 or [email protected].

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect the correct information on victims involved in this fatal accident.