UPDATE: Wednesday Morning Accident Claims Life of Abilene Student

DICKINSON COUNTY – The Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office has released additional information regarding a Wednesday morning accident that took the life of an Abilene elementary school student.

According to a media release, Cecelia Graf, 7, was struck by a vehicle while attempting to board a school bus at about 7 a.m. in the 1100 block of 2200 Avenue, just east of Abilene.

“The bus was stopped on the highway facing west, and early signs indicate that the bus had the appropriate emergency warning lights and signs activated,” said Sheriff Gareth Hoffman.

The child was struck by a 2008 Ford Focus driven by a 15-year-old girl that was driving east.

Graf was transported to Abilene Memorial Hospital, where she died.

An investigation into the incident is being conducted by both the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas Highway Patrol. “The investigation is ongoing to determine any and all contributing factors surrounding the tragic accident,” Hoffman said.


ABILENE – A student at a Dickinson County elementary school was killed in an accident before school on Wednesday morning.

According to St. Andrew’s Elementary School, the student, a 7-year-old girl, was killed on Wednesday morning while trying to cross the street to enter a school bus before school.

According to the Dickinson County Sheriff Gareth Hoffman, the accident was west of Jeep Road on 2200 Avenue. He said the school bus was westbound and stopped on 2200 Avenue.

The Sheriff’s Office says the driver of the car, a 2008 Ford Focus, was a 15-year-old girl who was headed to Chapman High School. The accident remains under investigation.

According to the superintendent of schools for the Salina Catholic Dioceses Geoff Andrews, the student was taken to Abilene Memorial Hospital, where she later died.

“We have activated our crisis plan and a team of counselors is available at St. Andrew’s in Abilene for students, staff and families,” said Andrews. “We will do our best to provide support and will continue to work through these most difficult situations together.”

Abilene Public School administrators and counselors say they will be providing support for students struggling with the news and if any parents believe their child is having difficulty at school, they are welcome to call the child’s office to make plans to pick their child up.

Full statement from the school:

“It is with great sorrow that I am releasing this statement. On behalf of the Catholic Diocese of Salina, my heart is broken, and my thoughts are with the families of St. Andrew’s Catholic School, in Abilene, and with the families and friends of those who are experiencing this tremendous loss.

This morning, a St. Andrew’s first grade student was hit by a vehicle while crossing a street to board the school bus. She was transported to Memorial Hospital, in Abilene, where she later died.

We have activated our crisis plan and a team of counselors is available at St. Andrew’s in Abilene, for students, staff, and families. We will do our best to provide support and will continue to work through this most difficult situation together. Mrs. Whitehair will be notifying students around 9:30 this morning. If you feel your child(ren) will have difficulty at school today, you are welcome to come pick them up. Please call the school office if you’d like to get your child before the end of the normal school day.

Please keep this child’s family in your prayers.”