ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Instead of celebrating with tears of joy and whoops of celebration for completing 12 years of school, more than a 1,000 students, and family attended a candlelight vigil Thursday at Nyack High School to honor senior Kailana Koether, who died unexpectedly on Thursday.
According to the Clarkstown Police, Koether, 17, who was on the swim and track team, died sometime during the night on Wednesday, or early Thursday morning, Officer Peter Walker said.
Police responded to Koether's home around 10 a.m. Thursday at 2 Bexman Green in Upper Nyack after receiving a call for an unresponsive teen, Walker said.
When they arrived at the home, the Nyack Volunteer Ambulance Corps and RPS Paramedics initiated medical assistance and transported the popular teen to Nyack Hospital Emergency Room, Walker said.
The on-duty doctor pronounced her dead at 11:05 a.m., Walker said.
The Clarkstown Detective Bureau responded to the residence and initiated an investigation along with the Rockland County Medical Examiner who is conducting the necessary tests to make a determination of the cause of death, Walker said.
Investigating detectives will work with the medical examiner going forward in the investigation, he added.
Walker said it could take up to several weeks to determine a cause of death until the all of the test results are returned.
During the vigil for Koether, many of her friends and family spoke of her love of fashion and described her as fun-loving, a loyal friend, a food addict, honest, a chief executive officer, and a little afraid of leaving her Nyack High School family.
Bereavement counseling was available to students and staff Thursday, Superintendent of Schools James Montesano said in a letter to parents. It was unclear if counselors would also be available at the school Friday.
The school's graduation ceremonies will be held at 8 p.m. Friday at the school weather permitting.
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