Recent Chardon High School graduate killed in crash

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CHARDON TOWNSHIP, Ohio-- Two recent Chardon High School graduates were involved in a crash Tuesday afternoon, leaving one of the teens dead.

It happened on state Route 44 in Chardon Township at about 12:25 p.m. The Chardon Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said a 17-year-old was driving a Toyota Prius on Hosford Road and failed to stop at the intersection. The car was hit on the passenger's side by a commercial truck.

Troopers said the teen driver was taken to University Hospitals by medical helicopter with life-threatening injuries. His passenger, 18-year-old Dominic Ricci, of Middlefield, was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

The truck driver was checked out at the scene.

According to the patrol, alcohol or drugs do not appear to be factors. All occupants were wearing seatbelts. Cell phone use did not contribute, but the crash remains under investigation.

Chardon Local Schools said the teen boys involved in the crash were recent high school graduates. The district will have counselors at the high school, starting Tuesday at 4 p.m. They will also be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

"The thoughts and prayers of all of us at Chardon Schools are with the families of these two outstanding young men during this difficult time. Our entire school community will continue to support the families, and each other, in coping with this terrible tragedy. Now, more than ever we call on the core value of Community, that has become a cornerstone of Chardon High School," Superintendent Michael Hanlon said in a news release.