BELLVILLE — A brother and sister died Saturday as the result of injuries they received in an automobile accident on Ohio 13, south of Bellville.
Nicolas M. Gaumer, 16, Fredericktown was a passenger in a vehicle driven by his sister, Ashlei N. Ernsberger, 24, Mansfield. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Mansfield Post, Ernsberger was traveling northbound in a Geo Prism when she lost control and traveled into a southbound lane striking an oncoming Dodge Durango head-on.
Ernsberger died at the scene. Gaumer was transported to Mansfield Med-Central where he later died.
Vicki S. Maxwell, 62, Fredericktown, was driving the Durango. Kinley Schmidt, 2, and Kamden Schmidt, 1 month, both of Ashland, were passengers in Maxwell’s vehicle. All three were transported to Knox Community Hospital where they were treated and released.
Fredericktown high school/middle school principal Robert Moore said the students are devastated by the tragedy.
“Nick was very well liked,” he said. “He was part of our cross country team and had run in the state meet the last two years. All the team members consider themselves a family and Nick was a big, big part of that. Those kids are really dealing with this in a difficult way.”
Some of the students who have older brothers and sisters who knew Nick’s sister Ashlei [Gaumer Ernsberger] are grieving for her as well, Moore said.
“Nick went to the (Knox County) career center, but many of our kids know Nick,” Moore continued. “He had done an excellent job of mentoring some of our younger cross country runners, so this has impacted our middle school as well as the high school. There was a run at our track yesterday morning about 9 o’clock, most of the cross country team and coaches ran honor of Nick.”
Moore said there will be a candlelight vigil tonight at 6 p.m. at the field house to honor Nick, and a 5K run on Dec. 31 in his honor and to raise some funds. Moore said the funds are to initiate a scholarship in Nick’s honor.
The crash remains under investigation.
Personnel from the Richland County Coroner’s Office, Ohio Department of Transportation, Mansfield Ambulance Service, Jefferson Township EMS and Stuart D.J. Durbridge, DVM, assisted at the scene.