CARLISLE TWP. — Keystone High School junior Kayden Williams died in a single-vehicle crash early Wednesday morning, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol, which is still conducting its investigation.
Troopers were called to a vehicle in a ditch on West Ridge Road near Russia Road at 3:59 a.m. Wednesday. When they arrived, troopers found a 2002 gold Chevrolet Blazer, with Williams, who was not wearing a seat belt, as its only occupant. He was removed from the Blazer and pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators are trying to determine when the crash occurred, and in what direction Williams was traveling. Drugs or alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash, the patrol said.
Football coach Don Griswold described Williams, 17, as a “great, fun, energetic, put-a-smile-on-your-face kind of young man.”
“I’m going to miss him,” Griswold said. “I love him and I’m thankful for our time together. He’s going to be missed in a lot of ways by a lot of people.”
On Twitter, Gina Gibson, high school assistant principal and athletic director, said she would miss seeing Kayden’s smile and “puppy pics.”
“The wildcat family is sending all of our love to the Williams family,” Gibson said.
Keystone football coach Chad Elliott sent a text to parents of athletes letting them know practices were canceled today.
“Hug your kids & tell them you love them,” Elliott wrote. “RIP Kayden…devastated.”
Griswold also said the high school was opened Wednesday evening for people to gather and be with each other.
“You share stories and start that grieving process,” Griswold said. “It’s different for all of us and the first thing you’ve got to do is spend some time together.”