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CHS students say goodbye to classmate killed in car crash

FPS Staff Report

CHS students say goodbye
IN MEMORY. Carrollton High School cheerleaders release black balloons with three white ones into the sky Friday evening prior to the Carrollton vs. Marlington game at Marlington. The balloons were in memory of their fellow cheerleader McKayla Hoopes, who was killed in a crash one day earlier.

Students and faculty at Carrollton High School are mourning the loss of one of their classmates.

Junior McKayla Hoopes was killed in a fatal car crash last Thursday (Sept. 27) less than four months after she was seriously injured in another car accident.

She spent those four months recuperating from injuries she sustained in the June accident and had only recently returned to the role as cheerleader on the sidelines of Carrollton High School varsity football games.

Students lined N. Lisbon St. Tuesday afternoon waiting to pay their respects to McKayla’s family during calling hours at Sweeney-Dodds Funeral Home in Carrollton. The funeral was held Wednesday morning in the funeral home. She was laid to rest in Pleasant Grove Cemetery across the road from the church she attended on Arrow Rd.  

A tribute was held for McKayla prior to the Carrollton-Marlington football game Friday evening. Fellow cheerleaders released balloons in memory of their fallen friend and Carrollton High School Principal Dave Davis presented a tribute to the student over the public address system. Football players carried red roses as they walked onto the field.

School officials canceled the homecoming parade and bonfire, scheduled for Monday evening, in memory of McKayla. They have been rescheduled for the last week of Oct. 22 prior to the Minerva football game, but a date has not been set.

Davis told The Free Press Standard local pastors were available in the school to help students deal with the situation Friday after the crash. Students were free to come and go from classes to visit with counselors.

“We are here for them (the students), he said.  “The students and teachers are numb. These things are not supposed to happen. McKayla was a great kid, a hard worker and a fighter who was always smiling. She fought hard to come back from her previous accident. This is such a tragedy.” 

Troopers with the New Philadelphia Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol said McKayla was driving a 2001 Oldsmobile Alero westbound on SR 171 at 3:29 p.m. Thursday. She stopped at the stop sign at the intersection of SR 43 and then drove the vehicle into the intersection where it was struck by a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier driven by Sherri L. Agler, 49, of 121 W. Mohawk Dr., Malvern, that was driving northbound on SR 43. The Cavalier struck the Hoopes vehicle in the driver’s door.

Four others were injured in the crash, which occurred on a rainy afternoon.

Hoopes was transported to Aultman Hospital at Canton where she was pronounced dead. Passengers in her vehicle, Matthew A. Hoopes, 14, and Robert M. Hoopes, 10, were transported to Aultman Hospital.  A third passenger in the vehicle, Stephanie Kelly, 16, was transported Akron Children’s Hospital. She was released Monday evening.

Agler was transported to Aultman Hospital.

All involved were wearing seatbelts. Troopers said alcohol is not suspected and the crash remains under investigation.

Hoopes and Kelly were injured in a June 11 accident on Folsom Rd. in Carroll County. In that accident, Kelly was driving a Chevy Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) that dropped off the road into a ditch.  Kelly lost control of the vehicle sending it across the road where it struck an embankment and rolled. McKayla was ejected from the vehicle and suffered bleeding on the brain, a blood clot and severe facial, neck and skull fractures.  She went through an extensive rehabilitation and recovery process, including spending time in University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. After her release, she continued to undergo rehabilitation for five-to-six hours each day. Friends say she was determined to cheer again and the first couple games of the season she was able to cheer briefly and then had to sit down. Her first full game of cheering was the Friday night prior to the accident.

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