June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Second teen dies

GRANGER TWP. — Andrew Ehrbar, 13, who attended Highland Middle School, died Thursday of injuries sustained in the Wednesday morning crash that claimed the life of his sister, Erin, 16.

“It is with great sorrow that I must now confirm the passing of Andrew Ehrbar, a seventh-grader at Highland Middle School, who was involved in yesterday’s tragic accident,” Highland Local Schools Superintendent Catherine Aukerman said in a
statement. “Andrew and his sister, Erin, a Highland junior, were wonderful young people at Highland and will be sadly missed. This is a time of incomprehensible sadness for the students and families at Highland. We are doing our best to cope with this

The children’s family released a statement Thursday through a MetroHealth Medical Center representative in Cleveland, where Andrew was rushed following the accident.

“Our family has felt and is grateful for the incredible outpouring of support, love and prayers from the entire community,” the Ehrbar family said. “Andrew passed away this morning with his family at his bedside.

“Both Andrew and his sister, Erin, have become organ donors. It has given our family some sense of comfort to know that part of them will live on in others.

“We ask the community to continue to keep our family in their thoughts and prayers, but hope that you will respect our privacy in this horribly difficult time.”

Andrew was a “very good student,” said Dawn Marzano, Highland’s communications director. “He was very likeable; he had a lot of friends.”

Andrew played baseball and soccer, and also was a member of the middle school’s choir.

“He was a good kid just like his sister; he had a big smile,” Marzano said.

The atmosphere at Highland’s middle and high schools has been “somber,” she said.

“It’s all-hands-on-deck right now, making sure that all the administrators and faculty are taking care of the needs of the students. That’s our first priority,” she said.

Principal John Deuber informed middle school students of Andrew’s death Thursday afternoon, she said.

High school students were not allowed to drive home Wednesday or to school Thursday, and grief counselors were available to all students throughout the day, Marzano said.

“The kids are grieving,” she said.

There was a Mass to remember Andrew and Erin on Thursday night at Holy Martyrs Catholic Church in Medina Township. Busch Funeral Home in Parma is handling arrangements.

At about 7:15 a.m. Wednesday, just before the start of the school day, Erin Ehrbar was pulling out of her driveway at 1825 Wilbur Road when a 1973 Ford Mustang crashed into her driver’s side.

Erin died at the scene and Andrew, who was a passenger in Erin’s 2002 Pontiac Sunfire, was taken by emergency helicopter to MetroHealth.

The driver of the other car, 17-year-old Highland sophomore Jonathon D. Slifka, was treated and released at Medina Hospital.
Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper Jeff Hirsch said there were a variety of factors that may have played a role in the accident.

“Sun glare was present when I arrived,” Hirsch said, and it may have obstructed Erin’s view.

The crash remains under investigation.

Contact Kaitlin Bushinski at (330) 721-4050 or kbushinski@medina-gazette.com.