Teammate's tribute to fallen UC student goes viral

CINCINNATI -- In an effort to heal the hearts of his community, a close friend of one of two students killed in a Hanover Township wreck this past Saturday wrote a song.

Jake Venable, 20, said in a YouTube video posted Tuesday that he misses his friend Ben Flick terribly and hopes his music will help his friends and family cope with the loss of “a great friend and teammate.”

“I just wanted to make this quick video for my buddy Ben Flick who passed away Saturday night,” Venable says in his video. “I’m just posting this video because hopefully it will help some people out who are hurting. Ben was a great friend and a great teammate -- just an awesome person.”

Venable is a student and football player at Taylor University and played football with Flick at Hamilton High School.

Flick, a recent graduate of Hamilton High School and a football player at the University of Cincinnati, was one of four college freshmen involved in the crash that happened on Stahlheber Road at about 10:20 p.m. Saturday.

Sean VanDyne, Flick’s childhood friend and the driver of the vehicle, died from his injuries late Monday night at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. UC football players Mark Barr and Javon Harrison were also passengers in VanDyne's 2009 Chevrolet at the time of the crash.

Barr still remains in critical condition at UCMC. Harrison was treated and released from the hospital Tuesday.

After hearing the of Flick’s passing, Venable found inspiration from an unlikely source.

“I was playing guitar…and saw some tweets saying ‘Where’s God?’ and ‘How can God be real?’ and right next to those, more tweets saying, ‘God does have a plan.’ I basically just sang the chorus, put my guitar down and wrote it,” Venable said.

He said it took him between 30 and 40 minutes to write the song.

“I knew it wasn’t me writing it, and I just prayed that whatever God gave me could be used for comfort and hope,” Venable said.

Venable’s YouTube video spread quickly Wednesday and Thursday, eclipsing 6,500 views.

It has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook and Twitter – and has elicited praise and tears from thousands.

“What a beautiful heartfelt song, you were a true friend. He heard it buddy. God bless you and all of his friends,” one YouTube comment reads.

Venable said his song is a reminder that it’s okay for people to be confused, but to be reminded, “it didn’t end on that night.”

And despite how many shares and views his video may receive, Venable wants everyone to remember: "It’s all for Ben – it’s not about me."

To watch the video, click here .

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