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Ballston mourns loss of student

Students at the Ballston Spa High School continue to come to terms with the death of Jessica Ashley Canfield, 16, who died Tuesday, Nov. 6, after a car accident. Two other district students were injured in the crash.

Canfield was driving north on a curve south of the intersection of Route 30 and Fuller Road in the town of Florida at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9, when she lost control of her vehicle. Canfield's 2003 Hyundai Elantra spun and collided head-on with a southbound tractor-trailer driven by Dennis Weider, 56, of Pennsylvania, police said.

Canfield's stepsister, Corey Martin, 11, of Mechanicville, and friend Stephanie Ippoliti, 15, of Ballston Spa, were injured in the crash. Both Martin and Ippoliti were taken by helicopter to Albany Medical Center. Martin attends the Ballston Spa Middle School, and Ippoliti attends the high school.

Police have said unsafe speed might have been a factor in the accident, but the investigation is still ongoing.

A moment of silence was held at the high school following the tragedy, and district officials quickly put plans in place to support the students and staff and help them work through their grief and shock about the accident.

District spokesman Stuart Williams said the doors of communication would remain open for any school community member needing to talk.

We have two schools involved here and will have crisis teams in each school to talk with students, teachers or staff members who want to talk about this, Williams said.

Williams said local church leaders were also available for counseling students.

"She was a good friend to lots of people," said high school student Fredericka Allen. "So many people are upset about it. It's hard to believe it even happened."

Born in Niskayuna Jan. 4, 1991, Canfield was the daughter of Lori Taylor Martin and James Canfield Jr. Canfield attended Amsterdam High School until ninth grade, and moved to Ballston Spa High School where she was a junior varsity cheerleader. Canfield was active with the United Methodist Church in Ballston Spa, where she sang in the choir and pitched in with the children in the nursery. She also donated her time helping the Eagle Matt Lee and Union Fire Company with the communitywide Thanksgiving dinners for the needy.

She worked at Price Chopper in Malta.

She is survived by her mother, Lori Taylor Martin and stepfather Jonathan Cook; her father, James Canfield Jr. and stepmother Laura Barker; two sisters, Corey Lee Martin and Tracy Canfield; brother, Jacob Martin; grandparents, Carolyn and William Taylor, James Canfield Sr., and Martha Rowley. She is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins and one niece.

Funeral services were held Monday, Nov. 12, at the United Methodist Church in Ballston Spa. The family requested that cards be sent to grandparents William and Carolyn Taylor, P.O. Box 115, Rock City Falls 12863.""

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