Council Rock North girls mourn tennis teammate Lauren Talbot, 17, died Monday after an auto accident. Her team went on to a tournament win.

Posted: October 26, 2005

Lauren Talbot will be remembered as a popular classmate and talented tennis teammate at Council Rock North.

According to Paul Wysocki, a teacher and girls' tennis coach there, Talbot was also known for the caution she displayed behind the wheel of a car.

"Lauren was, by all accounts, an extremely responsible and careful driver," said Wysocki. "Whenever she gave one of our girls a ride home, they stressed how safe she was."

Tragically, Talbot has become the sixth Bucks County teenager in the past month to die as a result of injuries suffered in a traffic accident. The 17-year-old senior was alone in her car when it went off a road near her home Saturday.

Police have determined she was wearing a seat belt and are still investigating the accident, Wysocki said.

An accident in Upper Bucks County on Sept. 28 took the lives of Pennridge juniors Anthony Brandariz and Louis Julia, and North Penn junior Christopher Smith. All were 16 and expected to be part of their respective schools' basketball teams this year.

Bristol Junior-Senior High football player John Farber Jr. and Harry S Truman student Mickey Teranto, a former Bristol student, died as a result of an accident on Oct. 9 in Bristol Township. That accident injured three other Bristol students, all athletes at the tight-knit school.

Wysocki broke the news of Talbot's death to his Council Rock North girls' tennis team Monday afternoon, shortly after the players had voted to carry on with their PIAA state championship tournament match against Central while hoping their friend would recover.

"When we voted, we thought she was still in critical condition," the coach said. After several team members had left the meeting early, but with most of the girls still in his classroom, Wysocki said, a school official came to the door to tell him of Talbot's death.

"About 20 or 30 minutes of intense sobbing followed," said Wysocki. He said school officials stayed with the remaining players until their parents picked them up.

In subsequent calls to all his girls, Wysocki said most expressed a desire to play the match against Central.

"They wanted to play for Lauren, play in her honor," he said.

One who chose not to participate was Felicia Pappas, a junior who was Talbot's doubles partner and best friend, Wysocki said.

"We all supported her decision," said Wysocki. "It was a very, very quiet bus ride on the way there. A very somber mood on the bus, and very somber in the warm-ups. But I thought our girls all showed a lot of courage."

Led by top singles players Nancy Winslow, Julie Shursky and Jackie Jaffe, the Indians defeated Central, 5-0, yesterday at Arthur Ashe Tennis Center.

They are now scheduled to play the winner of the Easton-Hempfield match Friday afternoon at Hershey.

The PIAA "graciously agreed" to move that match from its scheduled 6:30 starting time to 2 p.m., Wysocki said, so that his team can be back in time for Talbot's services Friday evening.

He also stressed how important a part Talbot had played in helping Council Rock North make it to the state tournament.

"When our No. 4 singles player got injured this season," Wysocki said, "Lauren stepped into that role and played very, very well."

Contact staff writer Rob Parent at 215-854-2938 or rparent@phillynews.com.

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