GARRETTSVILLE, Ohio — Students at James A. Garfield High School in Garrettsville poured their emotions out on a bulletin board Wednesday, remembering a classmate who died in a crash late Tuesday afternoon.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol said Nicholas Stock, 16, was driving north on state Route 88 when his car slid across the center of the road into the path of a pickup truck travelling in the opposite direction.
The accident happened as the remnants of Hurricane Sandy continued to push through northeast Ohio.
“The road conditions were definitely a factor,” said Ravenna Highway Patrol Post Commander Nakia Hendrix, adding “it was wet and rainy at the time also we believe speed for conditions played a factor in the crash.”
Stock was wearing his seat belt at the time and was alone in his 1996 Toyota. His car collided sideways with the truck.
The teenager was a junior at the Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna but had many friends among classmates and faculty at Garfield High School, where administration made counselors available.
“In Garfield, we are all a close-knit community. This is a terrible thing to have to deal with all of our students right now,” said High School Principal Jennifer Mulhern.
The school sent letters home with students on Wednesday saying they are “saddened and heartbroken” to report Stock’s death and are extending its sympathies to the Stock family and to his girlfriend.
“Nick was a very quiet, thoughtful young man. He liked school. He loved his work with computers and he had an awesome future ahead of him working with computers,” said Mulhern.
Among those who admired Stock’s computer skills was Superintendent Chuck Klamer, who said he had asked the student to help him with the computers at his home.
“Nick was just an outstanding, very polite young man, cared about his fellow students and fellow man, and I had Nick do some work for me using his skills with technology and he was just one of the finest people,” said Klamer.
“What a shame and a tragedy that he will not be able to contribute to society and live a life that he was prepared to live,” added Klamer, calling it one of the most difficult things he has had to ever deal with through his entire career.
Classmates were working on a way to appropriately memorialize Stock on Wednesday and to also send their condolences to his family.
“What I would like students to take away and learn from Nick’s death is life is so precious to make great decisions and good decisions at all times,” said Klamer.
For more on the crash, click here.