GRAFTON, Ohio -- Hundreds gathered under the lights at the Midview High School football stadium in Grafton to remember 17-year-old Lindsey Rotuno, who was killed in a car accident while heading home from prom.
Rotuno was just minutes from her house Sunday at around 3 a.m. when the car driven by 18-year-old Chase Johnson went off the road and struck two poles at state routes 82 ad 57 in Lorain County.
Coach and school board member Tom Tomasheski helped organize the vigil Monday night after what was described as a very difficult day at school, “A lot of grief, a lot of crying in the hallway.”
The vigil was meant to give students, staff and the greater Grafton community an opportunity to share their grief and console one another while showing support for Lindsey's mom, dad and brother.
At such a young age, Lindsey clearly touched many lives.
It seemed everyone had a kind word and memory to share.
Good friend Liz Snider said, “She made jokes all the time, and if she saw someone sad, she’d go up to them and make sure they were okay... be there for them even if she didn’t know them.”
School administrators also fought back tears while talking about Lindsey and the impact she made on the school.
People from surrounding communities also arrived wearing “Middie Blue” or purple which was Lindsey’s favorite color as they prayed for the Rotuno family. After nearly an hour the service ended with Tony Rotuna, Lindsey's dad, addressing the crowd.
Sobbing, he said, “I just want to thank everybody and I miss my baby.”
The accident is under investigation while Johnson remains hospitalized with serious injuries.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with funeral expenses. Click here for the information.