FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio — La Salle High School rising junior linebacker Cameron Kerkhoff seemed to always have a smile on his face.
"He was a unique individual; he was a hard-working person," said La Salle guidance counselor Tom Doerger, a longtime assistant football coach.
"Very active from the standpoint of co-curricular activities. He was involved in multiple sports here at La Salle. A good student, a hard-working student in the classroom."
Doerger and the La Salle High School community continued to mourn Thursday morning a day after Kerkhoff was killed in a car accident.
On Thursday night, the school announced the funeral plans for Kerkhoff. The visitation is 5 to 8 p.m. July 12 at the De La Salle Chapel at the school. The Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled at St. John the Baptist Church on Dry Ridge Road at 11 a.m. July 13.
The school asks to have all flowers delivered to Frederick Funeral Home on Banning Road.
"It's a very solemn atmosphere right now," Doerger said. "Anytime that we lose a student that's either currently enrolled or a recent grad - it's really tough institutionally."
The 16-year-old Kerkhoff died after a head-on collision in Fairfield Township Wednesday afternoon.
Officers responded to the 7400 block of River Road at around 4:15 p.m. for a call of a two-vehicle crash with entrapment. When they arrived, first responders found a 2009 Toyota Corolla off the side of the road after a crash involving a semi.
Kerkhoff was pronounced dead at the scene.
The La Salle community gathered at the school's chapel Wednesday night and leaned on its faith during this difficult time.
Several other Cincinnati-area high schools tweeted their support of La Salle and those who knew Kerkhoff.
"Without faith what do you have at this point in time?" Doerger said. "We have to draw on that faith and we have to draw on the love of each other. And the love of God. And the hopes and the prayers and the belief that there is something better for us after this life."
Dear LS families,
We are heartbroken to share the news that Cam Kerkhoff '24 was tragically killed in a car accident.
All are welcome to the De La Salle chapel tonight at 10:30pm for a prayer service.
Please keep the Kerkhoff family in your prayers during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/IQINwm4QhB
— La Salle Football (@LS_LancerFB) July 7, 2022
Fairfield Township police are investigating the crash with members of the Butler County Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team. Police said officers are investigating distracted driving, seat belt use and other contributing factors. A toxicology report is pending.
The driver of the semi was not injured.
La Salle has offered its students counseling services anytime this week.
The football team plans to have tribute decals with "CK" and a few other occasions to remember Kerkhoff during the upcoming season, according to Lancers head coach Pat McLaughlin.
Players and coaches continue to support one another this week.
"The key that I have shared with all the young people that I've talked to is continue to talk and support each other," Doerger said. "Don't go isolate yourself; it's not going to do you any good. "There are no right or wrong emotions at this time. Grief certainly, anger, not understanding why - those are all things that are normal."
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