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Warren Township schools mourn loss of student, Reece Coleman, killed in duck boat tragedy

Posted at 10:18 PM, Jul 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 06:01:46-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- When students at Brookview Elementary School return to school later this month, they'll be missing an important member of their class. Reece Coleman, 9, died along with eight other members of his family when the sightseeing boat they were on capsized during a storm last week. 

Reece would have been starting the fourth grade this year and substitute teacher Holly Hall says she's still in shock over what happened. 

READ | Funerals set for Indy duck boat victims

Hall says she was assigned to the "Life Skills" special education classroom last year where she worked one-on-one with Reece, who was on the autism spectrum. 

She says in the brief time she knew Reece, he made a lasting impression on her life - and he was always smiling. 

"I can still see him sitting at his desk and working on his tub or whatever. He was just one of the sweetest students I've ever worked with,' Hall said. 

READ | Horace Coleman dedicated his life to serving, mentoring kids

Reece was the oldest of Tia's children. His father, Glen, and two other siblings Evan, 7, and Arya, 1, also lost their lives along with his grandparents, aunt, uncle and 2-year-old cousin. 

A spokesperson for Warren Township Schools says the district is in the process of identifying the specific needs of the staff and students as they return to classes next week. He says mental health professionals will be involved, but they have not determined specifically what roles they will play. 

"I just can't imagine the classroom next year without him being in it," Hall said. "I just can't."

TRAGEDY HITS HOME | Indy woman describes duck boat accident where 9 family members perished | Community prays, donates thousands to Coleman family | Missouri duck boat raised from water | Community prays for, donates to duck boat survivors | Ride the Ducks will pay for funerals, medical bills of duck boat survivors 

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