2 brothers, ages 14 and 16, killed in Logan County crash


LOGAN COUNTY, Ohio — A Logan County community is in mourning after two teenage brothers were killed in a fiery crash.

It happened Wednesday afternoon on Township Road 230, just a handful of miles from Benjamin Logan High School. The two boys both attended that school, and Superintendent David Harmon recalls hearing the sirens from his office.

Within hours, he had learned two of his students, 16-year-old Robbie Smith and 14-year-old Wyatt Smith, had been killed. The boys were brothers and both played on the football team with Harmon’s own son.

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“It’s just been a lot for this community,” Harmon said. “It feels like more than our fair share, I think, right now.”

Harmon said, in recent years, the district has lost a teacher and several former and current students.

So extra support was on hand for both students and staff on Thursday. And school was on a two-hour delay.

“The Smith family, who could begin to put into words what they’re dealing with right now, but just the outpouring of hope and love, even what you see on social media, for example, has just been overwhelming.”

Despite her own grief, the boys’ mother did something that seemed to surprise even the superintendent.

“Robbie and Wyatt’s mom is here today,” he said. “She wanted to be a part of the, of supporting our kids. She’s an amazing, amazing woman. She’s walking the halls, hugging kids and letting them cry on her shoulder. I don’t know how a person can do that, but she’s an amazing, amazing person, and that’s exactly what’s happening.”

Jared Salyer, a junior at Benjamin Logan who says Wyatt was a close friend, stopped by the crash site Thursday afternoon.

“I wanted to come here, I wanted to see the scene, I wanted to look up to the sky, and I wanted to talk to myself about Robbie and Wyatt and just let them know that I am terribly sorry for everything that happened,” he said.

On Thursday, the only sign of what had happened was a large patch of scorched earth. Even the tree the boys hit had been removed.

According to the sheriff’s office crash report, Robbie was driving southbound on Township Road 230, with his brother as a passenger.

The car was cresting a hill when a driver heading northbound reported the boys’ car crossed the center line. Both cars swerved off the road. The solo driver was okay, but the boys were not. Their car crashed into a tree.

The other driver and others who stopped to help could not get the boys out of the car. Their car caught fire, and they both died at the scene.

Sheriff’s Sgt. John Godwin told 10TV that the investigation is ongoing but that the boys’ speed may have been a factor.

“I am going to pray for both them and their families, and I love both of them,” Salyer said.

Those sentiments were shared by many in the community as comments poured in on social media from friends, strangers, other school districts, law enforcement agencies, and more.

An online fundraiser for the family to cover funeral costs had far exceeded its $35,000 goal by Thursday evening.

“People were very, very quick to say, how can we help, how can we be there for the kids and for the staff as well,” Harmon said. “Our family’s been through a lot recently, the Benjamin Logan family, and so this was just kind of another thing that we kind of think, gosh, when are we going to get a break, when is this community going to get a break.”

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