Joplin Student Dies After Accident at Irving Elementary - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Student Dies After Accident at Irving Elementary


18-year old Joplin High School senior Spencer Nicodemus died Thursday from injuries sustained in an accident at Irving Elementary Schools.

"He's the kindest soul you could ever meet. Always had a smile. He was friends with everybody," friend of Nicodemus, Nate Daugherty said. "He left a mark on everybody which I guarantee is what he wanted most in life."

Friends of Nicodemus say when word of his death spread around school, the loss was felt immediately. 

"Normally after school you can't even hear yourself talk," Daugherty said. "And there wasn't even a peep inside. Like if I dropped a sewing needle you would've been able to hear it, it was so quiet. So it's devastating."

The silence continued through the afternoon, when dozens of close friends, students, along with Joplin High School staff took over the football field to silently release balloons in memory of Nicodemus. 

"He was really nice," friend Malaki Love said. "He always seemed to put a smile on everyone's face. He's always goofy, and when you're down he'd bring you back up."

Nicodemus, or Nico, as friends called him, was playing basketball with students at Irving Elementary School when a basketball goal  fell on the Joplin senior. Medical personnel transported Nicodemus to a hospital for treatment. He died at the hospital. 

"A lot of people knew him. And knew he was a good guy," Love said. "It's just crazy that it happened to such a good person."

No other students were injured in the accident. Joplin Schools says it's cooperating with the investigation. It's still unclear what caused the goal to fall. 

Friends say the balloon launch was organized spontaneously in about an hour. After the release, the crowd embraced for a short prayer. 

"He would have loved it. This is exactly what he would have wanted. I can guarantee it," Daugherty said. "And as long as everybody stays happy and stays cheerful then that's gonna fulfill his dream."

"I love him, and I'll see him on the other side."

Grievance counselors will be available to students at the high school and Irving.

Tim Spears
FOX 14 News Anchor, Reporter

In September 2014, Tim Spears joined KOAM as a Reporter. Tim previously worked at 95.1FM (Mike FM) and was a Sports Producer at PSU. Young Timothy was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and was raised in Kansas City, MO area.


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