3 separate crashes kill Graham student, Springfield man; injures one other

Three separate crashes over the last few days claimed the life of a Graham Local Student and a Springfield man and seriously injured a Columbus motorist.

Graham Local Schools announced in a social media post that a Friday afternoon crash killed sophomore Evan Whitt.

“The car accident that claimed the life of Graham High School Student Evan Whitt has left the Graham community in mourning,” interim superintendent Matt Curtis said in a statement. “This is a terrible tragedy for the Whitt family members, our students, staff and the entire Graham Falcon family.”

Related: Driver hurt after car strikes several trees in crash near Graham High School

A prayer vigil at the high school was scheduled to take place at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“In a united community effort, local counselors and clergy have joined district personnel at Graham High School this week to provide support to students and staff during this difficult time,” Curtis said. “The district’s crisis response team will continue to work with students and families affected by the accident.”

The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office responded to the crash on U.S. 36 west of Graham High School on Friday afternoon after a car struck several trees.

A black 2006 Cadillac was headed west in the 8400 block of U.S. 36 around 2:35 p.m. when it went off the left side of the roadway and struck several trees, causing extensive damage to the car, according to a release from the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.

Whitt was the only occupant in the vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office investigation is ongoing.

A second fatal crash occurred in Springfield Tuesday evening. Springfield police were called to a crash on South Center Boulevard after a 29-year-old victim apparently lost control of the black SUV he was driving at high speed, Springfield police traffic investigators said.

The driver, Davon Wilson, of Springfield, was headed south at speeds witnesses told police appeared to reach at least 65 mph when he apparently lost control.

The investigation reveals he over-corrected, hit a line of trees and was ejected. The posted speed limit for the street is 35 mph, police said.

He suffered heavy cuts to his head and neck, police said. He is believed to have died at Springfield Regional Medical Center.

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The serious injury crash happened on Wednesday morning at around 2 a.m. Ohio State Highway Patrol and Clark County Sheriff Deputies responded to a crash on Pitchin Road and Old Springfield Road for a single-vehicle crash.

“Clark County Deputies located a vehicle on its side about 200 feet into the trees,” according to a press release by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. “The driver, Charles A. Schweinsberg, 33 of Columbus, was trapped in the car for about an hour. First responders had difficulty assessing his injuries due to his high level of intoxication. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.”

Schweinsberg was cited for failure to control and operating a vehicle impaired.

This is not the first time Schweinberg has had a run-in with the law. He has a prior conviction for operating a vehicle while impaired on his criminal record.

Whitt had a passion for aviation and was working towards a career in the profession. His teachers remembered him fondly in a school statement.

“Life’s goal is not to live forever, but rather to help create, build and enjoy something that does,” said Graham High School Aviation Program Teacher Mark Curtner. “Evan’s passion for aviation lives on in us all. He has been called above and is now soaring in the heavens. He has become an eternal co-pilot for his fellow aviators.”

“Evan was a great kid,” social studies teacher John Tullis said. “In my class, he was a good student who worked hard and demonstrated a natural curiosity about life. I was fortunate to coach Evan when he played middle school football. It was fun to coach Evan because he knew nothing about football. He just wanted to participate, learn something new, and have fun with his friends. This attitude allowed him to make good friends, to not be afraid to try new things, and to enjoy his life. It was obvious how much he loved and admired his Dad and looked forward to many adventures with his father, including a move to Alaska. Evan was a wonderful young man who lived a beautiful life. I will miss him.”

Whitt is the second Graham high school student to be killed in a car crash in the last two years. In 2017, sophomore Sara Hess was killed in a crash caused by an impaired driver.

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