Funeral set for Graham student killed in crash, school to close Friday

  • Parker Perry
  • Staff Writer
Updated Nov 06, 2017

Funeral arrangements have been set for an Urbana 15-year-old who was killed in a car accident on Friday night.

Visitation for Sara Hess, a sophomore volleyball player at Graham High School, will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the high school and a prayer service will follow.

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A funeral will take place Friday, Nov. 10, at Westville Methodist Church. A time hasn’t been announced and Graham Local Schools will be closed that day.

The school will be closed “to provide respectful observance for our school community,” Superintendent Kirk Koennecke said. The school opened Saturday to provide grief counselors to students and volleyball players gathered Sunday to reflect, Koennecke said.

Counselors will remain at the school to speak with students, for the time being, Koennecke said. The school will be on its regular schedule Thursday, Nov. 9, he said.

The sophomore died after another car rear-ended the one she was riding in on Ohio 235 near Roswell, according to the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.

Champaign County Sheriff Matt Melvin identified the driver of the 1997 Honda Civic that rear-ended the car she was in as 27-year-old Dylan Lambert of St. Paris. He and his passenger, 32-year-old Clint Miller of Urbana, were flown to Miami Valley Hospital, Melvin said. Miller and Lambert were both in fair condition at Miami Valley on Monday.

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Graham Local Schools held a candlelight vigil for Sara on Saturday night and hundreds of people came out to honor her life. Graham students and the community also took to Twitter this weekend to remember Sara.

“I would do anything to see her smile again,” Karissa Sanford said on Twitter. “God gained such a beautiful angel.”

“My heart breaks for the family and friends of Sara Hess,” Brendan Gallagher, a recent Graham graduate said on Twitter.

The school’s principal also said in a statement that Sara’s death is a great loss.

“This young lady was the all-American student we all wish we had the opportunity to know,” Principal Ryan Rismiller said. “The outpouring of love and support from students, staff and community members Saturday evening reinforced what a special person we have lost but will never lose in spirit.”

The driver of the car she was in, 17-year-old Graham student Gabe Wier, was taken to Wilson Memorial Hospital in Sidney. Gabe is expected to be OK, Koennecke said on Monday.

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The Wier family provided an update on Gabe.

“Gabe successfully underwent surgery and is now focused on beginning the healing process,” they said in a statement. “The surgeon placed a plate in his shoulder to repair the broken clavicle and inserted a screw in his hip. Gabe suffers from a fractured C4 vertebrae and will continue to wear a neck brace for the next three-eight weeks. The doctors anticipate a full recovery, given time and a lot of physical therapy.”

They said his spirits are still high and his faith is strong as he begins the recovery process.

Correction: A previous version of this story had Dylan Lambert’s name spelled incorrectly.