16-year-old girl dies in Strongsville car accident, three others injured

Posted at 11:03 PM, Jun 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-08 17:51:21-04

A high school student was killed and three others hurt after a crash Wednesday evening in Strongsville.

Police said the vehicle was traveling on Albion Road when it left the roadway and struck a tree. Six people, all aged 16, were in the vehicle at the time.

Kailee Mayher, a sophomore at Strongsville High School, was ejected from the vehicle and killed, police and the school district confirmed.

Three girls were taken to local hospitals with injuries. Two others, including the driver, were not injured, authorities said.

Related: '100 deadliest days' for teen drivers, Memorial Day to Labor Day

Fender said he does not know if Mayher was wearing her seatbelt or not.

"It goes without saying that we, the Strongsville School community, are devastated regarding the news of Kailee's death. We will all need to keep those affected in our thoughts as we move forward," the district said in a statement.

Scroll down to read the statement in full.

Crisis counselors were available at the school, the district said.

A makeshift memorial was built near the crash site where friends gathered to remember the victim.

"I think they just got their licenses a month or two ago, too," said David Kholyavka, who went to school with the girls.

He said Mayher, a friend since preschool, helped him get through challenges at school, especially when he was bullied.

"She just talked about life," he said. "Don't worry about these kids that are always bullying me and stuff," he recalled her telling him.

Under Ohio law, new drivers are not allowed to have more than one non-family member as passengers for the first year after getting their licenses.

For parents, it's a sad reminder about the importance of safe driving.

On Thursday morning, the Strongsville City School District released the following statement:

As many of you may already know, on June 7th multiple Strongsville High School students were involved in a motor vehicle accident. Kailee Mayher, a sophomore, died tragically as a result of injuries sustained in this accident. A young person's death is always tragic and a loss like this can have a profound effect on students. It is important that we recognize this loss and offer help. We suggest that you talk to your children about their feelings associated with this news and observe their reaction over the next several weeks.
The following are some behaviors that you may observe and experience with your children. Regressive behavior (needing reassurance), withdrawal, aggression and expressions of anger, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, difficulty concentrating, unexplainable headaches and stomachaches, fearfulness and anxiety. To support your child through this difficult time, provide them with opportunities to talk about what has happened, normalize their reactions, reassure them about their concerns, and provide coping outlets, such as exercise, music, art, or other healthy coping strategies. There are additional resources on the Strongsville City Schools website to help as we all try to process this tragedy.
Today (Thursday, June 8th), crisis counselors from the Western Cuyahoga County Crisis Counseling Team will be available to process the news with students as needed. The team will be in the SHS media center from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to support students. Furthermore, the school has arranged to have counselors available to talk with students through the beginning of next week. Please contact the SHS Guidance Department at 440-572-7103 if you need additional resources.
Finally, it goes without saying that we, the Strongsville School community, are devastated regarding the news of Kailee's death. We will all need to keep those affected in our thoughts as we move forward.
 The cause of the crash is under investigation.