Miami East to open doors for students to grieve

An 11 year-old female student passed away in a car accident on Friday

CASSTOWN — Miami East Local School’s Superintendent Dr. Todd Rappold said the district will come together as family at 6 p.m. on Friday evening and again at 4 p.m. on Sunday to remember their fellow classmate killed in a car accident on Friday.

The victim’s name has not been officially released as of 5:15 p.m Friday. She was an 11 year-old female and student at school.

The student passed away following a Friday morning crash on U.S. Route 36, involving a semi and a car.

Two other victims, the driver, a 17-year-old, and a 13-year-old passenger were transported from the scene, one aboard CareFlight and another by ground medic. The 13-year-old was trapped in the crashed Pontiac for more than 30 minutes as firefighters and medics worked to free her.

“We are going to open the school to give the kids a place to meet,” Dr. Rappold said Friday. Students are to gather at the Miami East High School gym. Local pastors, school counselors and grief counselors from Tri-County Board of Mental Health will be available to counsel students both Friday evening at 6 p.m. and again on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. Dr. Rappold said staff will also be available during the first day of school for support.

“It’s a great community and we wanted the kids to have the opportunity to gather in a safe place and the safest place is to be here,” Dr. Rappold said. Parents were notified by One Call Now about the school opening for students to gather.

“The family is appreciative of your prayers at this time,” he said. “Let’s support one another as we deal with the loss of one of our own.”

No names have been released, but a press release from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office identified the girls as sisters and students in the Miami East School District.

The crash occurred around 11:36 a.m. at the intersection of U.S. Route 36 and Lena-Palestine Road in northeast Miami County. Miami County deputies preliminary reports state the Pontiac car driven by the 17-year-old was southbound on Lena-Palestine Road and pulled into the path of an eastbound semi pulling a trailer. The driver of the truck was not injured. All three girls were reportedly wearing seat belts. There is no evidence of alcohol or drugs being a factor in the crash.

Medic units from Johnson-St. Paris, Christiansburg, and Piqua responded to the scene along with fire units from Fletcher and Piqua.

U.S. Route 36 was closed while a crash reconstruction team from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office worked at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.

An 11 year-old female student passed away in a car accident on Friday