High school students planning memorial benches for Shelby County family killed in plane crash

FAIRLAND, Ind. – Students at Triton Central High School are banding together in a unique way to remember a Shelby County family killed in a freak plane crash back in August.

Lisa Borinstein, her 19-year-old son Luke, 15-year-old daughter Emma, and 15-year-old German exchange student Maren Timmerman died in the accident in Virginia. The family was on the way to see the oldest Borinstein son Drew graduate from the Virginia Military Institute.

The students want to put memorial benches up outside the high school for the four, and they’re asking for plastic lids to do it.

“We wanted to honor them because they were such a big part of our community,” said Brooke Lemasters, a committee chair of the project at Triton Central High School.

Stacked in a corner of a history classroom at the high school are bottle caps and lids, a way to remember and to heal.

“It’s not the typical loss that you see,” said Gabbi Mahurin, the student council treasurer, “It’s definitely still a struggle every day.”

The student council and their sponsors found an Evansville company that makes benches out of plastic. Shelby County’s recycling district will transport the materials to Evansville and pay part of the fees to make them.

They need 400 pounds for each bench, and they started collecting lids. Word spread from near and far, the school even got a letter from a former coworker of Lisa Borinstein’s.

“They’re moving their minds in a different direction to help remember them and to cope with their loss,” said Austin Hall, Student Council Co-Sponsor.

The students hope the four benches can go in the entry where kids walk into the halls every day. They said it’s a real reminder of the legacy left behind by a family who showed their love for others often.

“I know Luke used to always say that he would go and sit with someone new at lunch, and he just wanted to know people. And Emma used to make sure to say hi to people, and I think that’s left an impact with people,” said Mahurin.

Emma’s twin brother Beau was not on that plane. He is a sophomore at Triton Central High School. He and his brother Drew are the only survivors in that immediate family.

You can donate plastic lids with numbers two, four, or five on the top. The school information is listed below.

Triton Central High School: 

4774 W 600 N

Fairland, IN 46126

Phone: (317) 835-3000

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