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Fourth Ohio high school senior dies of injuries from rollover crash

An 18-year-old high school senior died of injuries suffered in a weekend car crash just hours before his graduation, raising the death toll to four students. A fifth student was injured.

The MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland released a statement from Kevin Fox's family Monday morning saying he had died.

"We are grateful for the overwhelming support that the northeast Ohio community has given our family during this difficult time," the Fox family statement said.

A Columbia Township firefighter who called early Sunday with first word of the accident provided a quick assessment of how serious it was. "I need Life Flight [medical evacuation helicopter]. I have one ejected, one entrapped. Like I said, this is a rollover," he told the dispatcher.

Investigators returned to the scene Monday and blocked off the sloping railroad crossing for an accident reconstruction to determine how the wreck happened. A steady stream of young people arrived at the scene, many leaving flowers, balloons and mementos on the roadside.

A car carrying Fox and four other teenagers went airborne, crashed and flipped onto its roof at a railroad crossing early Sunday. Fox was ejected from the car's back seat and landed in a ditch. He was flown to the hospital.

Troopers so far blame excessive speed.

Fox and Jeffrey Chaya, 18, were to graduate from Brunswick High School on Sunday afternoon. Chaya also died.

Also killed were Blake Bartchak, 17, and Lexi Poerner, 16. A 17-year-old girl, Julia Romito, was injured, but Southwest General Hospital wouldn't release information on her condition.

All five were students at Brunswick High School. In a tearful commencement ceremony Sunday afternoon at the University of Akron, Chaya's and Fox's names were called, a moment of silence was held and empty seats were covered with flowers left for them.

Students were given the option of skipping their final exams Monday and today and instead having their third- and fourth-quarter grades averaged.

The district sent grief counselors to meet with students, teachers and staff members.

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