COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, OH (WOIO) - Students are returning to school Tuesday for the first time since hearing about the death of their two classmates from Coventry Middle School.
Four children were struck by a vehicle while walking on South Main Street Sunday. Two of the kids died. Family members and friends identified the eight-grade girls as Amber Thoma and Taylor Galloway. One of the other children, a seventh-grade boy, remains in critical condition at a local hospital.
Grief counselors will be at the school Tuesday as students return. The school's principal, Tina Norris, said the two young girls were vibrant, intelligent, and beautiful. The girls were expected to graduate Tuesday night at the scheduled ceremony, but the promotion has been rescheduled to Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m.
A vigil was held Monday night for the students. Approximately 200 people gathered to honor the two girls.
At the scene of the crash, a growing memorial of stuffed animals, balloons, flowers, and notes continues to grow as people stop to pay respects and remember the lives lost. There are no sidewalks on the stretch of South Main Street. Neighbors said kids walk along the stretch frequently, but question why there aren't safer routes.
According to the Summit County Sheriff's Deputy, the driver that struck the children has been identified as a 24-year-old New Franklin woman. She did stop at the scene and wait for police. Investigators say charges are pending against the woman after she crossed the white fog line.
Two GoFundMe accounts have been set up in the girls' names to help their families.
Calling hours for Amber Thoma are Friday at 6 p.m. at the Apostolic Church of Barberton, with funeral services following.