Vehicle Strikes Pole, Tree Killing Big Walnut Student


UPDATED: Wednesday April 18, 2012 4:25 AM

A Big Walnut Local Schools student who attended the Delaware Area Career Center was killed Tuesday morning in a rollover crash.

According to Delaware police, two male Delaware Area Career Center students were in the vehicle, when the vehicle went off the road and struck a pole and a tree.

The crash happened shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday along a service road near 980 Sunbury Rd.

The driver, Ryan Lobdell, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with minor injuries, and the passenger, identified as Kenneth Ruzika, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ruzika, 17, was a junior and was training to be a firefighter at the career center, 10TV’s Jason Frazer reported.

Friends and family gathered at Northside Fellowship Church in Westerville Tuesday night to remember their friend.

“I normally say goodbye to him every day after lab gets out,” Ruzika’s friend, Kyle Thornton, said. “I never thought that would be the last time I would say something to him.”

Pastor Jeff Dybdah said that Ruzika was a loyal person and had a great smile.

“No words can describe how much we’ll miss him and how much we already miss him,” Dybdah said.

Friend Sean Allen said that he started crying when he heard the news of Ruzika’s death.

“I’ll probably start crying like I did today,” Allen said. “It will probably be hard to pull it together.”

District officials said that they would provide students, family, friends and staff support at the schools. Delaware City Schools also planned to provide counseling.

Police said that Lobdell, 16, could face charges.

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