North Harrison students grieve for fellow classmate killed in car crash


by Gene Kang

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 22 at 9:31 PM

Harrison Co., Ind. (WHAS11)- North Harrison High School, in southern Indiana, felt heavy Wednesday.

 It was a mix of emotions for students and staff after they lost a senior in a car crash. Another student is in stable condition at University Hospital.

 This is their third student who died in less than a year.

 17-year-old David Austin, a high school senior, died in a car crash leaving his fellow students with sadness.

 A bright smile is now missing from the hallways of North Harrison High.

 "It was quiet and different," said Sydney Hall a North Harrison High School sophomore. 

 Kaitlyn Gettelfinger, a freshman, said: "As soon as I walked on the bus this morning a lot of kids were crying it was pretty sad."

 It was a feeling of déjà vu as their principal says that just last year, two students passed away.

 One of those students was in a car crash, and another in an accident at home.

 With Austin's death, grief counselors were on hand to help sooth their souls.

 Steve Hatton, North Harrison High School Principal, said: "... and just let them know that we cared about them and loved them and if there was anything to do to help them we were down here to support them."

 Austin was ejected from the Volkswagen Jetta that flipped over and somehow landed upright.

 The accident happened about a quarter mile from the high school Tuesday on West Whiskey Run Road in Ramsey, Indiana.

 Air bags deployed but Captain Brad Shepherd with the Harrison County Police says both Austin and the other senior driving the car were not restrained.

 Capt. Brad Shepherd, with Harrison County Police, said: "Speed was a factor in the crash. Seat belts were not worn by the driver or the passenger who was ejected out of the vehicle."

 It is not how Austin died, rather how he lived that these teens will remember the most.

 Hall said: "He was well known and nice to everybody and friendly."

 Swarens Funeral Home is handling the funeral. Austin's parents were not available to speak to the media as they made funeral arrangements.