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Community celebrates life in times of tragedy

By Staff | Oct 24, 2014

A fatal traffic accident last Thursday afternoon took the life of a Jefferson High School student after the bicycle he was riding was struck by a car.

Jefferson County Sheriff Pete Dougherty identified as 15-year-old Gabe Bauserman, of Shepherdstown. The sheriff said the boy was flown to an area hospital after the accident that occurred on Gardners Lane.

The sheriff further confirmed that the vehicle involved was driven by another Jefferson High School student and contained an additional student as passenger. Preliminary findings did not reveal that any drugs or alcohol were involved in the wreck. It was a tragic accident.

“The driver of the vehicle may have had an obstructed view,” Dougherty said.

Bauserman, who had just turned 15 the day before the accident, has been remembered this week and honored with candlelight vigils and moments of silence. Counselors have been on hand for students at Jefferson High where the tragedy involved not just the loss of one life, but the devastating impact on two more.

Mara Bausersman, Gabe’s mother, has reached out to the community via social media and friends to seek support not for herself, but for the two young men who were in the car.

In a message, she shared with them, she said, “I am proud of your strength and resilience. Just focus on putting one foot in front of the other, keep moving forward. I know that the JHS students and faculty, ROTC cadets, your families, my family and the community are here to hold you up.”

By uplifting these young men, Bauserman also makes it through each day. In preparing for the funeral services this week, she admittedly said everything is a blur. Many details have had to be dealt with, but she has found humor where she could, including in a trip to Sprint to unlock her son’s phone to secure music for the reception.

“The hard work comes after that as we will go to retrieve his ashes and bring him home. However, in all the trials of closing a life and creating an everlasting memory, all I can think of is those that have and are walking this path with me,” she wrote this week. She mentioned many in the community who have shared her same grief through the loss of a child before her.

“I am thankful for my local friends who know this road all too well and are ready for my 3 a.m. phone calls at any time. And of course, I am praying for those who surrounded Gabe Bauserman as he left to be with God,” she shared.

She asks that the community continue to lift up those individuals as well and support them in this sad time. Her focus has been on others even as she draws support from those around her.

“I will live strong and with purpose as I expected no less from Gabe and he held me to the same standard as a parent,” she said as she prepares to move forward.

“I am blessed and beyond grateful for the support, kindness and outreach from every single one of you. Each and every one of you holds a very special place on the timeline of my life and Gabe’s,” she said.

The community gathered Thursday evening at Covenant Church to say farewell to Gabe Bauserman. But, his memory will forever live on.