Crash that killed 1 student, critically injured another under investigation

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

A two-vehicle crash that resulted in the death of a high school senior and the hospitalization of another student remains under investigation.

Koda Austin, 17, of Springfield, died in the crash, according to the Ohio State High Patrol. A passenger in his vehicle, Joel Cox, 18, of Springfield, was flown to Miami Valley Hospital by CareFlight.

Cox, a student at Kenton Ridge High School, was still listed as a patient at Miami Valley as of Friday afternoon. His condition was unknown.

The day before the crash, Austin attended his commencement at Springfield-Clark County Career Technology Center, Northeastern Local Schools confirmed.

He studied veterinary science during his time there, the career center said.

“Our heartfelt condolences are with their families and friends during this very difficult time,” Springfield-Clark County Career Technology Center shared in a statement.

The crash happened on Urbana Road, just north of Ohio 334 around 12:30 p.m. A Honda CR-V was traveling north on Urbana Road when it collided with a Ford Focus turning left from Ohio 334, said Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Christina Hayes.

In a release, the highway patrol said it believes the Focus, driven by Austin, failed to yield at a stop sign before it was hit. The crash caused the Ford to roll onto its top.

Northeastern Local Schools shared a statement with the district community Thursday.

“The death of a child is always a sad and troubling event, and can often have a profound effect on the student’s friends and classmates,” Kenton Ridge principal John Hill said. “It is extremely important for children to have an opportunity to talk through their feelings and reactions in an age-appropriate manner.”

The Traumatic Event Crisis Intervention Plan (TECIP) team was scheduled to be on Kenton Ridge’s campus Thursday evening and when students returned to school Friday. The team will be available to support students and staff beyond this week, Hill said.

“Please know that we are here to help your family through this grief and have many supports available,” Hill said.

The driver of the CR-V reported minor injuries, while a passenger was taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. She was discharged from the hospital on Thursday, according to Mercy Health.

A 1-year-old boy in the SUV suffered minor injuries in the crash.

There have been at least six fatal crashes reported in Clark County so far this year, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol.

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