Buckeye Valley High School students gathered Thursday evening (Jan. 25) to pay tribute to classmates who perished in a tragic crash.
Sophomore Jacob “Jake” Richardson, age 16, and freshman Mykaela Fellure, age 15, were killed in a single-vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 24) on State Route 257 in Scioto Township.
A third student — Alexa Richardson, age 14 — was injured in the crash and received treatment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. She was released on Thursday, Jan. 25.
Fellure, daughter of Charity (Teeple) and Stephen Wallace of Ostrander and Jeffrey and Amanda Fellure of Marengo, was described by her family as someone who “will be remembered for her love of God, family, friends, and music. She attended the Delaware Christian Church and loved going to concerts of the many eclectic artists she listened to, from Coin to Bleachers, to Japanese House Music.”
Funeral services for Fellure were held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27 at Delaware Christian Church, 2280 W. William St., Delaware. Calling hours were conducted from 1 p.m. until the time of the service at the church.
Richardson is the son of Jeremy and Jenny (Smith) Richardson. According to Richardson’s family, “His fun loving personality earned him the nick name of ‘Joken Jake’. Sensitive and sweet, he was quick witted and always quick with unique one liners in dialogue. He will be remembered for his calm and gentle nature, but most of all for his love of family and being a friend to all.”
Funeral services for Richardson was held at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28 at Grace Church of Powell, 7600 Liberty Road N., Powell. Calling hours were conducted from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the church.
Buckeye Valley School Resource Officer Deputy Fred Strawser read a brief statement to the media prior to the student-organized candlelight vigil Thursday evening (Jan. 25) at the school’s football stadium.
Strawser said he’s been the Buckeye Valley school resource officer for six years and that Thursday (Jan. 25) was a very hard day, but the community has been very supportive.
“I’m not surprised at the outpouring of this student body, parents, staff, and this entire community,” he said. “Our students are always our number one priority — their safety, their well-being, and their education. These kids know that we are here for them no matter what. As you can imagine, there have been a lot of tears, a lot of questions, a lot of pain.”
Strawser said that he didn’t have a relationship with either Richardson or Fellure and had not dealt with them much other than saying hello in the hallways in passing.
“I had just general conversations with those two,” he said. “Jacob had an open friendly face with me; Mykaela pretty much the same. It was the only experience that I had with them.”
Strawser said everyone grieves differently and that the staff has “extended every measure of comfort.” He said at the beginning of school Thursday morning (Jan. 25) the mood was one of shock and then moved on to grieving as the day progressed.
“Trained counselors are meeting with the students and staff,” he said. “The students have been really been coming together to support one another.”
Strawser said he himself, during this time of grieving, has a few students that he has relationships with who came to talk with him. He said he tries to be a supportive presence and that he lets them grieve in their own way.
“I try to give them some words of encouragement and lift them up,” he said.
Superintendent Andrew Miller said additional counselors were made available to students on Thursday and Friday (Jan. 25-26) and, if needed, were also available this week.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.