The tight-knit Greenon schools community is grieving after two high school athletes died in a crash Sunday, one of whom’s mother is a teacher in the district.
Senior David Waag, 17, played soccer at Greenon High School and sophomore Connor Williams, 15, played football at Greenon while attending classes at the Global Impact STEM Academy in Springfield.
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A lot of people are hurting still,” Greenon Superintendent Brad Silvus said. “But they are rallying around each other and supporting both families and also the families of those that were able to survive.”
Waag, of Beavercreek, and Williams, of Fairborn, were backseat passengers and 17-year-old Zach Knauer, of Springfield, was the front-seat passenger in a black 2005 Toyota Corolla, driven by Blevins, 18, of Enon.
The car was traveling Sunday afternoon on Wilkerson Road between Fairborn and Yellow Springs when the driver allegedly lost control and the car hit a tree before rolling over, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The driver and front-seat passenger both had on their seat belts. They suffered non-life threatening injuries and were transported to the Soin Medical Center.
Waag and Williams were in the back seat and not wearing seat belts. They were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the patrol.
Neither drugs nor alcohol appear to be factors in the crash, according to the state patrol.
Lt. Brian Aller, commander of the state patrol’s Springfield Post, said some vehicles have rear-seat airbags but for many, the seat belt is the only safety device for rear-seat passengers.
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“Our bodies aren’t made to go 60, 70 miles an hour,” Aller said. “(A seat belt) holds you in place so you don’t actually hit other objects inside the vehicle or even outside the vehicle if you’re ejected.”
An estimated 150 students and staff members gathered for a vigil Sunday night at Greenon’s football field.
School officials said the football and soccer teams are working to find a way to memorialize and commemorate the pair, who were well-known in the Enon community.
It’s tough for the entire district because both boys were well-known and well-liked, Silvus said. Williams mother is a teacher in the district, and teachers from previous grades remember having Waag and Williams as students.
“When I spoke with the staff this morning, it was a pretty emotional time … Everybody’s hurting,” Silvus said. “We had some words out at the center of the football field (during a vigil Sunday night) and we walked a lap with the candles and then everybody just kind of hung out and talked.”
Both Greenon and Global Impact closed Monday and grief counselors will be on-hand as students and staff members return to classrooms Tuesday.
Joshua Jennings, director at Global Impact STEM Academy where Williams was a student, said even other surrounding districts have offered their counselors to help if needed.
“Our school counselors will be able to be here … for (students) to talk to and work out the grieving process that they may be going through collectively as a school or individually,” Jennings said.
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