Chardon holds memorial walk/run to honor three students killed in crashes

CHARDON - In the midst of tragedy the Chardon community remains strong as they remember three students killed in crashes.

"I've heard countless stories of how these young men touched the lives of teachers and students of people in our school community," said Michael Hanlon Jr., the superintendent of Chardon Local Schools.

Saturday, a memorial walk and run was held for crash victims Zachary St. Jean, 16, Dominic Ricci, 18, and Jackson Condon, 17. All three were killed in car crashes within days of one another.

According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ricci and Condon, recent high school graduates were killed when their car passed a stop sign at Hosford Road and State Route 44 Tuesday afternoon without stopping. St. Jean died just a few days earlier after being hit by debris and crashing into a tree on Fairmount Blvd. near Som Center Road.

Donations from the memorial walk will benefit school music and athletic programs that the victims were a part of. Support came in droves as hundreds gathered for the one mile walk and run.

"It's incredibly overwhelming, these past two days have been very emotional," said J.T. Wittmann, the memorial organizer. "Seeing the way the community rallies together and supports one another is incredibly beautiful."

The tragedy is inspiring one recent graduate and her family to prevent another deadly crash. As people crossed the finish line they collected signatures for a petition to make the roads safer.

"Anything we can do to keep the kids safe these accidents just don't need to be happening," said Suzanne Clemente.