FAIRFIELD TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – A young boy has died and the man accused of hitting him with his car and taking off appeared in court in Columbiana County on Monday.
We learned what’s being done now to help a grieving community cope with a terrible tragedy.
Donald White, 64, of Salineville, sits in the Columbiana County Jail on a half-million-dollar bond. He is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, fleeing the scene of an accident and marijuana possession.
White is accused of hitting one of two young teenagers riding their bikes together Saturday night in Fairfield Township.
“They were off of the roadway. They were on the soft shoulder on the right side of the white line,” said Lt. Les Brode, with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The accident happened around 9 p.m. on a dark stretch of Route 164. Troopers said White left the scene without stopping.
The young victim, a 13-year-old middle schooler in Columbiana, was taken to the hospital where he later died. According to Lt. Brode, the bicycles did not have lights on them.
The Columbiana Exempted Village School District released the following statement on their website:
Dear Clipper Families, Our Clipper community experienced an unimaginable tragedy with the loss of one of our students. Our prayers, thoughts, and support remain with the family and friends of this young man. As we all navigate this difficult time, we will provide grief counselors across the district for students and staff.
In addition to school administrators and outside counselors, the group known as the Columbiana Christian Ministerial Association has come together to help students, staff and even the community come to grips with this tragedy.
“One of the girls asked the question, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘That’s a good question that you need to ask and it’s OK to ask.’ But sometimes you don’t get the answer,” said Greg Aker, pastor of the Upper Room Fellowship Church.
Pastor Aker says friends and family will need to grieve in their own way.
“They need to remember they need to be together. It’s really important that they come together today and to grieve together and to cry, to hug one another and to tell the stories,” he said.
We’ve learned White has a lengthy traffic record. Just a month ago, he was convicted of causing another crash in Fairfield Township. One year ago, he was placed on probation for failing to maintain his insurance, but he did have a valid license at the time of this most recent crash.
Highway Patrol says drugs are believed to be a factor in the crash and White could be facing more charges. He is due back in court again later this week.