Classes in the Bright Local School District were shut down early and extracurricular activities were postponed for the evening after a freshman student lost his life in a two-vehicle accident Thursday, apparently while he was on his way to school.
The Wilmington Post of the Ohio State Patrol Highway Patrol identified the deceased as 16-year-old Kolton C. Hamilton. Bright Local Superintendent Mike Bick said Hamilton was a freshman at Whiteoak High School.
“Happy is the thing that comes to mind when I think of Kolton,” Bick said. “Kolton was liked by all.” The superintendent said Hamilton was involved in various activities and was a member of the Whiteoak golf team this fall.
Bick said Bright Local would start Friday, “as normal as possible,” with an assembly in the morning to let students know there are people available to talk with if they are upset or just need someone to listen. He said Bright Local counselors, counselors from other school districts and clergy members would be available to students throughout the junior/senior high school.
The state patrol said the accident took place at 7:09 a.m. on S.R. 321 near South Mills Lane in Whiteoak Township.
A preliminary investigation indicated that a 2008 Honda Civic was traveling west on S.R. 321 being operated by Hamilton, of Hillsboro. A 2022 Dodge Ram truck was traveling east on S.R. 321 being operated by Donald Louderback, 78, of Mount Orab. The vehicle operated by Hamilton went out of control and off the left side of the roadway. Upon re-entering the roadway, Hamilton’s vehicle was struck by Louderback’s truck, the state patrol said.
Hamilton was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Highland County Coroner’s Office.
Louderback was not injured as a result of the crash, according to the state patrol.
The state patrol was assisted at the scene by the Highland County Sheriff’s Office, Southern Highland Joint Fire District and the Ohio Department of Transportation.
All after school activities and events at Bright Local were canceled for Thursday. That included parent-teacher conferences at Whiteoak, and athletic games and practices. The school district said the parent-teacher conferences and high school volleyball games will be rescheduled to a later date.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.