The following letter to the community has been released by Ryan Hobbs, superintendent of Eldorado Unit District 4.
"The students, staff and families of Eldorado Unit District 4 received the news last night that one of our beloved students, Heath Toothman, a senior at Eldorado High School, passed away.
"On his way back from the Homecoming parade, Heath lost his balance while jumping off of the senior float and hit his head. First responders were on the scene and he was life-flighted immediately to Deaconess Hospital (Evansville, Indiana) where he passed away.
"Now our attention goes to pulling together as a community and doing everything we can for Heath's family and fellow students.
"Eldorado School District is heading up a fundraiser to help Heath Toothman's family pay for medical bills and funeral expenses. You can donate directly to the Eldorado High School Foundation via PayPal at email@example.com, or, the high school office will be accepting donations. 100% of the donations will go directly to Heath's family. If you have any questions about donations, please contact Principal Cody Cusic at (618) 841-7669 or Miranda Cain, at (618) 926-1686.
"We also will be having multiple school and community events in the next few days to make sure that our students who witnessed the accident and Heath's friends have all the support they may need. Today, we have our middle school open and staffed with teachers and counselors for any students who need help or just need to talk. If you have a student or know a student who needs help, please encourage them to call or stop by. Over the course of the next few days, if you are aware of any students who need help please contact our school counselors below or the Egyptian Health Department regardless of the time or day.
• Tonya Taylor, school social worker, (618) 499-3559.
• Rachel Anderson, school guidance counselor, (618) 751-3644.
• Egyptian Health Department, (618) 273-3326 or after hours, (618) 252-8661.
"Finally, in an effort to help Heath's friends and classmates and to honor Heath, there will be a tribute and dedication to Heath tonight (Friday) before our home football game. Students will be able to gather near the band section at the football field and have decided to wear blue (Heath's favorite color) to honor him. A place has been designated for students to leave notes or mementos. These will all be delivered to Heath's family following the game.
"Our prayers are with Heath's family during this tragic time."
Ryan M. Hobbs,