Using the hashtag #BVStrong, Delaware County residents and people from surrounding communities have filled social media with condolences following the tragic deaths of two Buckeye Valley High School students.
Sophomore Jacob W. Richardson, age 16, and freshman Mykaela Fellure, age 15, were killed in a single-vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon along State Route 257 near Fry Road in Scioto Township.
A third BVHS student, Alexa Richardson, 14, of Delaware, was transported to Nationwide Children’s Hospital after the crash for treatment on Wednesday and was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon.
“It’s been a trying day for the Buckeye Valley community,” Buckeye Valley local Schools Superintendent Andrew Miller said Thursday morning. “Around the high school and middle school, the tone is obviously somber.”
Miller said the district has and will continue to support the students. He said many community agencies have provided counselors and support staff for the students.
“We appreciate the support of the Buckeye Valley community and the greater Delaware County area,” he said.
Delaware County Sheriff Russ Martin tweeted Thursday morning that his office “shares the grief with the Buckeye Valley community.”
“For School Resource Officer Deputy (Fred) Strawser it is more than a job,” he said. “He’s told me several times these are ‘his kids.’”
At the end of his Twitter message, Martin said, “#BVstrong we cannot take away the pain, but we will stand with you today & everyday. Our #commitment.”
In a joint press release issued by the school district and sheriff’s office, it was stated, “Trained crisis counselors have met with students and staff today (Thursday) and we will continue to do everything possible to support all students and families in the aftermath of this tragic incident.”
According to troopers from the Delaware Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the crash occurred around 3 p.m. Wednesday. Troopers said that Jacob Richardson was driving a Jeep Wrangler south on State Route 257 when he traveled left of center, then drove off the left side of the road, and hit a guardrail. Troopers said Jacob Richardson’s vehicle then struck a utility pole and a tree, overturned, and came to a stop on an embankment.
Jacob Richardson and Fellure were pronounced dead at the scene, troopers said. Fellure was a passenger in the back seat of the vehicle. Alexa Richardson was a passenger in the front seat. Troopers report that Jacob and Alexa Richardson were wearing their safety belts at the time of the crash, but said it was unknown if Fellure was wearing a safety belt when the crash occurred.
Troopers said Thursday that alcohol is not being considered a factor in the crash. The crash remains under investigation.