Seneca East High School students started school Wednesday like every other day, with excited chatter among friends and theanticipation of first period.
The only difference this Wednesday was the uncertain whispers floating through the hall about a car crash involving a fellowstudent. Superintendent Michael Wank said students and faculty were in shock upon learning 17-year-old Matthew J. Mason, one of their own, died in a car-bus collision.
"He was a good student, a good person," Wank said. "It's particularly hard on staff and students because Matthew's dad works at the school (social studies teacher Douglas Mason). It's a very, very difficult time."
Matthew, a high school senior, suffered fatal injuries Wednesday morning when his car rear-ended a bus carrying Seneca East students to school.
Wank said it was likely Matthew was on his way to school, where he attended half-days.
The other half of the day was spent at Sentinel Career Center studying to be a computer communications network technician.
According to the Fremont post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, bus No. 22 was stopped on Ohio 162 to pick up a student when struck by Matthew's 1998 Ford Taurus.
The bus driver evacuated the 15 students out the front door of the bus, making sure no one was injured, then went to aid Matthew.
Matthew died from his injuries shortly after being airlifted to St. Vincent's Mercy Medical Center in Toledo.
Troopers said the glare from the sun and driver inattention may have contributed to the crash.
Wank said he and other school officials were on the scene just after the crash.
"It's a terrible tragedy," he said. "Right now we have our school guidance staff, local guidance staff and a local ministerial group assisting students and staff on site. We're offering whatever opportunities we can for those who knew Matthew to sit down a speak to someone."
Matthew's family could not be reached for contact.