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A recent Gulf graduate and a Gulf junior were killed in traffic accidents during 1999.

More recently, Lauren Green, who had graduated in June, was killed on September 8 in an auto accident at the intersection of State Road 54 and Collier Parkway near Land o’Lakes. She had turned 18 years old the day before the accident.

Lauren had just started classes at St. Petersburg Junior College in Tarpon Springs. She was studying to become a physical therapist.

Principal Cheryl Rennecker remembered Lauren as a good student who excelled in honors courses and had a bright future ahead. She told a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times, “Lauren was just one of those wonderful young people who did everything she was supposed to do. It’s just a terrible tragedy to lose a student. As expected, everyone here who knew her is just shocked.”

Lauren played tenor sax in the Gulf High marching band for three years.

Over the summer, Dennis Hite, a member of the Gulf class of 2001, was killed in a car accident just a few blocks from his home in New Port Richey. He was 16 years old.

The accident occurred on U. S. Highway 19 during a rainstorm on July 24. According to police, Dennis tried to switch from the center lane to the right lane when he lost control of his car on the slick road about a mile north of Main Street in New Port Richey.

One of Dennis’ teachers recalled him as “a very well-liked student with a great personality.” His death was announced to the faculty at their first meeting in August, but most teachers had heard about the accident during the summer. Dennis was a cadet in the Gulf High NJROTC program. His fellow cadets planned a fundraiser in his honor in September.

Both pictures above were taken from the 1997-98 yearbook, when Lauren was a junior and Dennis was a freshman.