Brunswick High Students Mourn Loss of Friends, Classmates

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

BRUNSWICK, Ohio -- One by one, Brunswick High School students lined up at a memorial to remember their classmates killed in a car crash on Boston Road Sunday morning.

"It's depressing.  Just seeing everything," said Jesse Marianut, a sophomore.

Friends remember Jeffrey Chaya, 18, and Blake Barchak, 17, as great role models and friends.

"I was on the football team as a kicker and everybody is sad that they aren't going to be there next season," said Kyle Hotz, a teammate.

A cross of roses was placed at the memorial to remember the life of Lexi Poerner, 16, who loved to spend time with her boyfriend, Kevin Fox, 18, who also died in the crash.

"We went on family vacations together.  It's heartbreaking. To think that the next time I see Kevin is at his funeral?  That's insane," cried family friend Melanie Holmes.

Ohio State troopers say Chaya was driving a Chevy Cavalier his friends as passengers when they hit an elevated set of railroad tracks.

Elyria Highway Patrol Trooper Clinton Dowell says the car went airborne and out of control.

Chaya, Bartchak and Poerner all died at the scene or shortly thereafter. Fox was ejected from the vehicle and died in the hospital on Monday morning.

17-year-old Jessica Romito remains hospitalized at Southwest General Hospital. She was in good condition as of late Monday morning.

Sunday was supposed to be graduation day for two of the victims.

Final exams are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at the High School. But due to the accident, students are not required to report to school and are exempt from the exams unless they are needed to obtain a credit or to better their GPA.

"My friend shared a locker with Kevin.  Everyone was writing in his locker and put blue ribbon in it," said senior Taylor Sass. "And then the janitor came around and closed it.  It will be in there forever."

In addition to honoring the students forever inside the high school, students placed blue ribbons on trees outside as a sign of unity and support.

"It's so sad.  They were such nice people.  All of them were," said Taylor Grenig, a senior.

"It definitely brought us together.  The whole community, not just as a class.  As a class it made us so much stronger, and it definitely made us stronger as a community, as well," added Sass.

Grief counselors will be on hand at the High School for the final exam on Tuesday.

Funeral services for three of the four students killed have been announced. Services for Kevin Fox have yet to be announced by his family.

  • A wake for Jeffrey Chaya
 will be held at Saint Ambrose Parish on Wednesday from 2-8:00 p.m.
    A mass of Christian Burial will be held at Saint Ambrose Parish on Thursday, June 7 at 9:30 a.m., Burial following at Resurrection Cemetery.
  • A wake for Blake Bartchak will be held will be held at Saint Ambrose Parish on Wednesday, June 6 from 2-8:00 p.m.
    A mass of Christian Burial will be held at Saint Ambrose Parish on Thursday, June 7 at 1 p.m., Burial following at Resurrection Cemetery.
  • A wake for Lexi Poerner will be held at Jardine Funeral Homes on Thursday, June 7 from 2-8:00 p.m.
    A mass of Christian Burial will be held at Saint Ambrose Parish on Friday, June 8 at 9:30 a.m., Burial following at Resurrection Cemetery.
Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.