Lakota West grieves for 16-year-old
Girl died trying to cross I-75

BY MIRIAM SMITH
The Cincinnati Enquirer

UNION TOWNSHIP — Students placed flowers by Renee LaSance's parking spot and left notes near her locker Monday at Lakota West High School. They were grieving for one of their “very popular” classmates, Renee, 16, who was killed Friday night while crossing Interstate 75 in Sharonville.

The school had counselors and youth ministers available for students, principal Richard Hamilton said. “We've had a lot of kids who have used the counselors, who've utilized the support that we've put into place today,” Mr. Hamilton said. “It's a struggle. We're working through it.”

Renee, a junior at the school, was struck and killed when she darted into traffic on busy I-75 at 11:45 p.m. Friday after her car broke down. The driver tried to swerve but was unable to avoid her.

Daniel Suer, 43, of Liberty Township was the driver of the minivan that hit Renee. He was not cited. He tried to take evasive action by swerving and braking, according to Sharon ville police.

Mr. Suer and Renee's parents, Diane and Mark LaSance of Union Township in Butler County, attend the same church, St. Maximilian Kolbe Church in Liberty Township. Diane LaSance went to grade school with Mr. Suer.

Lana King, 17, who had been best friends with Renee since they were in the seventh grade, said school officials announced what happened over the school's public address system.

“Everyone was just, like, real shocked,” Lana said. “We were all just sitting around, bawling.”

Students and staff who want to attend Renee's funeral today will be excused to do so, Mr. Hamilton said.

“We were talking about it today. ... It probably was good that school was open to give kids some support, an avenue to express their frustration and answer some of their questions,” he said.



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