Tragedy Strikes Students on Both Sides of SJC ‘Mason-Dixon Line’

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A seemingly quiet semester at San Jacinto College was quickly disrupted for both North and South campuses during the week of April 13, causing a stir on social media, as well as local news stations.

On April 15, 18-year-old student Andrea Espino was heading to North campus when her car collided with a man who was running from police in a high-speed chase that ended in his death.

“I remember seeing the car come my way,” Espino said in an interview with KHOU. “It’s so unreal, hard to believe it was me. Next thing I know, I’m in the back of the ambulance, and someone’s putting IV in me.”

The chase ended with a multi-vehicle crash and gunshots in close proximity to the Interactive Learning Center at North Campus. Freshman Brittany Kappler said the scene was a rush of chaos.

“I walked out of class, looked to my left, and saw nothing but cop lights, a helicopter circling above and people running,” Kappler said. “I got my phone out and went to the news to read what happened. As soon as I realized what had just happened, my heart sank. I could not believe it was right there.”

Espino was released from the hospital later that same day. Attempts to contact her for comment to the Times went unanswered.

One day following the death of Frank “Trey” Shephard near North campus, San Jac experienced another shockwave around 9 a.m. on April 16.

A Seventeen-year-old Clear Creek ISD student taking classes at South campus fell from the top floor balcony in the atrium of the three-story Allied Health and Science Building to the concrete ground floor.

According to an announcement sent to staff and students by SJCAlertMe, the injuries the student sustained were serious, and an investigation was launched.

“He remains in ICU at the hospital, and his family is by his side,” Chancellor Brenda Hellyer said in a prepared statement. “I ask that you keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”

The details of his injuries and condition were not released, and it is unclear what led to the fall.

A substitute teacher for Clear Creek ISD (CCISD), who requested her name be withheld, said she overheard students talking about the incident.

“They were definitely concerned and worried about him. But, I didn’t really hear any specifics or details about it,” the source said.

Furthermore, the substitute added CCISD has not released an official statement.

“It may have been discussed at his (the victim) specific campus, but nothing has been said to all the district employees,” she said. “Probably for privacy reasons.”

As of press time, his condition remains unknown.