DES MOINES, Iowa -- Leaders in the Des Moines Public School District are grieving the loss of one their students for the third time in a little more than a year.
On Saturday, 13-year-old Nariyo Lee was killed after the car he was riding in was hit head-on. The driver of the car he was in also died, and two others remain in critical condition. The teen was a former eighth grader at Brody Middle School. Those who knew him tell Channel 13 he recently transferred school districts.
The news of Lee's death is especially tough for the school. Since fall of last year, two other Brody Middle School students have died in traffic accidents. Lea Phann, 12, was killed when a driver ran a stop sign and slammed into the car in which she was riding in September. A month later, 12-year-old Josef Fuller was struck by a car when he was walking to school.
On Monday morning, Brody Middle School Principal Thomas Hoffman sent a letter to parents, saying:
Once again and sadly, I need to inform you that two former Brody 8th grade students were involved in a serious traffic accident this past Saturday. Nariyo Lee was killed and Kayden Kinley, who attended Brody in sixth grade, remains in critical condition.
There are counselors and the DMPS Grief Team available for students today we will be working hard to hold our learning community close.
Every day is important and hold your child close. We are here for one another.
Parents of children who go to the school are taking that reminder to heart.
"It's too many children, too young, too soon. It's heartbreaking," says Angel Julius, who knew Lee well, as her husband coached him in football since he was in third grade. She remembers him as being the life of the party.
"He was always joking, always the jokester, always having a good time and making people laugh. Its horrible to see this happen."
Lee's mother tells Channel 13 funeral arrangements are pending.