Students return to Dublin High for first time since deadly crash

DUBLIN, Calif. (KGO) -- Dublin High School students are returning to the class for the first time since a car accident killed three of their classmates.

Administrators are offering support in a number of different ways including grief counselors, a moment of silence and comfort dogs.

"We have art supplies because sometimes students need to get their feelings out in a different way. We are trying to anticipate as many needs.... but we know we can't anticipate everything because the grief will come and we are just trying to be there for the students," said Principal Maureen Byrne.

Students and administrators say Javier Ramirez and twin brothers Michael and Mark Urista stood out in a student body of 3200 kids. They were known as fun pranksters who always had smiles on their faces. The teens were killed in a car accident Christmas night in Pleasanton when their car veered out of control and hit a power pole and a tree. Two other teens were seriously hurt and are still in the hospital.

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"This is a very tight community so this has hit has been devastating. We are just taking it one step at a time," Byrne said.

Julia Ravazza says Javier was her best friend.

"I was really hesitant to come to school today. I didn't really want to. I feel like it is going to open a whole new wound of them not being here," Ravazza said.

Cody, an Australian Shepherd, was on hand to help students like Ravazza. His handler said he made a difference as soon as he walked into a classroom.

"I'm just at the end of his leash and he does all the work. He just is able to bring people comfort and the kids in the room were just stroking him and having time with him. They don't have to say anything and he doesn't say anything he is just with them and he is a great listener," said

Kathy Felix of Hope, an animal-assisted crisis response team.

Students say the teens had a strong presence at school and will be deeply missed.

"They were the light in everyone's lives. Even if you didn't know them they would make jokes with you. Everyone they came across, they were friends with. All they wanted was to make people happy," Ravazza said.

Administrators say it is tough to see their students in so much pain. They will have counselors on hand all week.
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