New Castle News

May 9, 2013

Laurel students salute fallen officer

Nancy Lowry
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Nearly 700 Laurel students joined community members to line Route 108 as William McCarthy headed to his final resting place.

The 60-year-old Shenango Township policeman and Lawrence County detective and humane officer died in a traffic accident May 2 in New Castle, when a car allegedly fleeing police slammed broadside into his cruiser.

There were 680 students from grades seven through 12 on both sides of the highway in front of the school Wednesday. Each carried an American flag, provided by the AmeriCorps program, according to AmeriCorps volunteer Casey Mills, who accompanied a group of students.

“This was coordinated through the police,” he said.

“The students were very cooperative. They wanted to do this.”

“This is something that the students will never forget,” noted state police Trooper Garrick Lapusnak of Troop D’s forensic services unit.

Lapusnak, armed with his crime scene camera, photographed the procession from Laurel High School. He said one of his shots might be donated to the county for display at the courthouse.

Volant resident Vickie DeHaven, a 1994 Laurel graduate, joined those along Route 108.

“I’m not at all surprised that they would do this,” she said of the district’s decision to allow the students to stand along the highway to honor the fallen officer. “They’re very patriotic, very community spirited at Laurel.”

Lawrence County’s school administrators, who met Wednesday morning, also were represented along the route.

Ray Omer, Mohawk High School principal, said the administrators meeting ended about noon.

“We don’t have any of the students with us, but administrators from each of the school districts are somewhere along the route.”