Oakville Senior High School community mourns the loss of two students, 2003 graduate

By Alyson E. Raletz

Flags at Oakville Senior High School flew at half-staff this week as the school mourned the recent loss of two students and a 2003 graduate.

Oakville High students observed two minutes of silence Monday morning in memory of the three teen-agers.

The trio of back-to-back deaths all occurred on south county roadways last week.

On April 15, Chad McCord, an 18-year-old senior, was on foot when he was struck by a tractor-trailer on Interstate 55 between the Meramec River Bridge and Meramec Bottom Road, said Mason Keller, public information officer for the St. Louis County Police Department.

The death took place in the late afternoon, Keller said.

McCord was involved with soccer, track and cross country at Oakville High, according to Patrick Wallace, director of school/community relations for the Mehlville School District.

Services for McCord took place Monday at the Kutis South County Chapel and Mary, Mother of the Church. He was buried at Interment Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Arnold.

Edward Raterman, a 17-year-old junior, died last Friday in an auto accident on Yaeger Road — an eighth of a mile from his home in the 5500 block of Chauveau Drive, according to Keller.

Raterman was driving south on Yaeger Road with another Oakville High student at 3:30 p.m. when he lost control of the vehicle, Keller said, left the roadway striking several trees and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The passenger, whose name is not being disclosed by the Police Department, survived the accident, was airlifted to an area hospital and was in critical condition when the Call went to press on Monday.

Raterman and the passenger were wearing seat belts, Keller said.

Visitation for Raterman was scheduled Tuesday at Fey Funeral Home, 4100 Lemay Ferry Road.

The funeral was scheduled at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 21.

Corrine Foster, a 2003 Oakville Senior High graduate, died Saturday in an automobile accident in Sunset Hills.

Foster, 19, was driving south bound on Interstate 270 at the Missouri Route 30 exit ramp when she lost control of her passenger car.

It struck a concrete center median divider and overturned, according to a Sunset Hills Police Department news release.

Foster, who was wearing a seat belt, was killed instantly upon impact, the release stated.

Visitation for Foster took place Monday at Kutis South County Chapel, while her funeral and other services will remain private for family members.

Counselors were available Monday for students at Oakville High. With parental permission, students also were able to attend funeral services this week during school hours.

During lunch on Monday, students honored McCord, Raterman and Foster by signing three banners, leaving messages for each of the deceased.

The banners soon will be displayed at the school, according to Wallace, in loving memory of the three students.

Oakville High Principal Eric Knost told the Call that Monday was a “tough” and “somber” day for faculty, staff members and students.

“I think they’re doing as good as anybody could expect,” Knost said. “… Our community is a very tight community. The kids know how to rely on each other … They know how to get through times like this.”

An educator for 17 years, Knost said he had dealt with student deaths before.

“It’s unfortunate, but death is a reality,” he said. “But three within two days is overwhelming. I’m still a little numb to it.”