Saturday, February 28, 2004

Reading High student dies in crash on I-71

By Janice Morse
And Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Andy Ramsey

READING - A day of excitement turned to sorrow Friday for Reading High School.

Student Andy Ramsey died in a traffic crash as he and Joey Wilson were heading to Columbus to cheer for the Reading Blue Devils competing in the state wrestling tournament.

Ramsey was the fifth Greater Cincinnati teen to die in a traffic crash in the past two weeks. Wilson, who was driving, was treated and released.

Scott Inskeep, superintendent of Reading Schools, said the boys' parents had obtained permission for their sons to be absent from school so they could go to Columbus.

"The mood at the school today was somber, sad and one of support for Andy and his family," Inskeep said Friday.

Inskeep knew Ramsey, a junior who was active in sports, and described him as "a great kid and fine person."

"Anyone would have been proud of him," Inskeep said. "He was just a good boy."

Just before 9 a.m. Friday, Wilson and Ramsey were northbound on Interstate 71 about 15 miles south of Columbus when Wilson lost control and his vehicle struck a guardrail. The vehicle flipped onto its right side and slid 100 feet, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.

Ramsey was partly ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say Ramsey was not wearing a seat belt.

In 2002, 68 percent of traffic fatalities involving those age 16 to 20 failed to wear seat belts, state figures show.

Investigators were still trying to determine whether Wilson was wearing a seat belt. He was treated at Mt. Carmel Hospital. The cause of the crash remained unclear Friday evening because of "conflicting witness statements," said Lt. Patrick Vessels of the patrol's Circleville post. He said it was possible that another vehicle was somehow involved but he said no other vehicles crashed.

News of the crash quickly reached the boys' school in Hamilton County, where officials scrambled to make school counselors available for students wanting to talk about Ramsey's death. Counselors will also be available Monday.

"Everybody is going to miss him and everybody loves him," said Susan Glace, a friend. "It's going to stay with us forever."

WCPO-TV contributed to this report. E-mail and

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