Coventry Middle School: two students killed in accident were “bright, beautiful young ladies”

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COVENTRY TWP. Ohio - Administrators at Coventry Middle School are preparing for a difficult return from a long Memorial Day weekend after the deaths of two 8th grade students on Sunday.

The girls, whose names have not yet been officially released, were among four 7th and 8th grade classmates who were hit while crossing South Main street Sunday afternoon.

One seventh grade student remained hospitalized in critical condition on Monday.

Authorities with the Summit County Sheriff's Office and the Summit County Crash team were continuing to work on their investigation on Memorial Day, promising the release of new details Tuesday morning.

At the middle school, administrators and their crisis team members met on Monday to discuss plans for the coming week, which will be the last week of the school year.

An 8th grade promotion ceremony that had been planned for Tuesday will be postponed.

The deaths are the third and fourth of classmates from the same class since 4th grade.

"They lost another student when they were in fourth grade, another in sixth grade, and this same group of students has just lost a third and a fourth, so this is a group of students that has suffered a significant amount of loss so that is certainly a contributing factor into how we are going to plan for that particular 8th grade group in the morning," said their principal Tina Norris.

Norris said counselors will be made available to students at all of the Coventry Township schools on Tuesday.

While not identifying the victims, Norris described them as "two very vibrant, bright, intelligent, beautiful young ladies."

The crash happened near Portage Lakes where the posted speed limit is 40 miles per hour.

Speculation about what happened has generated anger and sorrow in the community where a roadside memorial grows at the scene.

Danny McCutcheon says he has lived in the area for 19 years and worries about kids crossing the road to get to a park.

His grandson also lives about a block away and stopped to try to help when he heard someone desperate for anyone who knows CPR.

"It's busy around 4:00 usually on weekdays and you know there was a lot of traffic yesterday because of the holiday," said McCutcheon

"I live two streets away so I heard it and I saw her and it was just terrible. I couldn't believe what I saw," said Charlie Byers, an 8th grader who said he knew both of the girls.

Others drawn to the site on Monday admit then did not know any of the victims but felt compelled to show respect.

"These families are going through something horrible I couldn't even imagine, but they need support and this community is strong," said Joe Kruger.​