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Jason Addy, Contributing Editor
5:13 pm CDT April 30, 2019

The services for James Ariel, a baseball coach at Loyola Academy and seventh-grade science teacher at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, will be held later this week in Chicago.

Ariel, 22, died Saturday, April 27, in a car crash on Interstate 80/90 in Gary, Ind. He was driving his Chevrolet Malibu along an exit ramp from northbound Interstate 65 to the Indiana Toll Road when he veered off the roadway, according to Indiana State Police and the Lake County Coroner’s Office.

Ariel’s wake is scheduled to take place from 3-9 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at Wolniak Funeral Home, 5700 S. Pulaski Road in Chicago, according to a press release from OLPH officials.

His funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, May 3, at Mary Mother of Mercy Church, 7114 S. Hamlin Ave. in Chicago. Ariel’s students and fellow seventh-grade teachers at OLPH will attend his funeral Friday, per the release.  

OLPH officials say in the release that they are “helping our school children and staff express and cope with their feelings of shock, grief and loss.”

Officials met with staff and faculty on Monday, April 29, and informed students of Ariel’s death via in-school announcements, the release states.

Administrators and staff spoke with students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades, and counselors were made available to students, staff and parents on Monday and Tuesday, according to the release.

“The OLPH School community is deeply saddened by the tragic death of our seventh-grade science teacher, Mr. James Ariel,” the release states. “We offer the Ariel family our heartfelt sympathies, support and prayers during this difficult time.”