By Janice Morse, The Cincinnati Enquirer
and Sue Kiesewetter, Enquirer contributor
OXFORD - Just as they were preparing for this weekend's homecoming festivities, Talawanda High School students learned a popular honor student was killed in an automobile crash on his way to school.
Jason Farthing, 18, was pronounced dead Wednesday morning while emergency crews were taking him to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.
"Times like this are never easy," Talawanda Principal David Isaacs said Wednesday, after using the school's public-address system to convey the sad news shortly after lunch. "They're kids. They're so immortal and yet they're so fragile. This is a surprisingly sensitive group of kids."
Some schoolmates were so distraught they went home, officials said.
Isaacs said the media centers at the high school and at Talawanda Middle School - where two of Farthing's siblings attended class - were set up as grief centers with counselors available to talk with students or staff members. Those centers will be staffed again today.
Homecoming activities will proceed. The senior class is planning to put some sort of memorial to Farthing on its class float.
The Milford Township senior was an honor student who was well liked and supported the school's athletes, band members and All-Academic team, Isaacs said.
"He was the one cheering them on, supporting them," said Isaacs, whose daughter was a classmate of Farthing. "He didn't like the limelight. He was just a real neat, solid kid who happened to be very bright."
The crash that killed Farthing happened around 6 a.m. Farthing was westbound on Somerville Road and turned left onto Ohio 127 into the path of a northbound semi tractor-trailer, Butler County sheriff's deputies said. The semi driver, Stephen W. Hall, 43, of Indianapolis, declined medical treatment.
Emergency crews freed Farthing from the wreckage of his Dodge Aries and summoned a medical helicopter, but he died before reaching the hospital, the sheriff's office said.
Ohio 127 was closed for more than two hours while crews investigated the crash and cleared the wreckage.
The Butler County Sheriff's and Montgomery County Coroner's offices were investigating.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Abuse suit now a class action
Zimpher gets busy on Day 1
Student sampling on new boss sketchy
Crime on rise in suburbs
Young voters missing at polls
IN THE TRISTATE
Character sign: helping a friend
Project to cut off businesses
19 from Greater Cincinnati are Achievement semifinalists
Cancer team seeks funding
Reeve tells of hope for cures
Cranley seeks I-71 exit near hospitals
Monitor says police reform is slow
MSD to pay to fix sewer backups
Pulfer: A new history of women begins on the west side
Howard: Good Things Happening
BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Jury decides on death penalty for man who killed his wife
Hamilton readies for assault of this winter
Deters advises Butler Co.
Miami U. to keep all benefits for striking workers
Visit Scotland with a trip to Middletown
Mason's pancake day will be Nov. 8
Condos argued in Price Hill
Student killed; school shocked
Stanley Kreimer active in politics
Henry Stark, 104, was in union for 87 years
Irate farmer wants crop circle culprits to pay
Two firefighters killed in New Knoxville
No charges to be filed in landlord voyeurism case
Lawmaker proposes overhaul of state retirement fund boards
There's plenty of Ohio in D.C.
Universities, public schools start mutual campaign for money
Ky. state senator says: 'I'm gay'
Poll finds majority would allow smoking in bars
Survey: Gamblers ramble in region
Talks to regulate tobacco industry break down along partisan lines
Holmes teacher's death serves as warning for all
Museum Center shows Lewis and Clark letters
West Nile death confirmed
Truck driver dies after going off I-71