Monroe prom night crash: Passenger says he remembers nothing

Report says teen who died wasn't wearing seat belt

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio -- One of the survivors of a fatal prom night crash said he remembers nothing about what happened.

Mitchell Foster Jr., 18, suffered facial fractures, a broken jaw and a broken nose. He told the Journal-News he was sitting in the front passenger seat of the 2013 Tesla sedan Friday night.

Police said Foster and three other student had been speeding toward Monroe High School's prom when the 17-year-old driver veered into the opposite lane of Millikin Road, overcorrected and caused the car to overturn and tumble off the road.

Kaylie Jackson, 17, was ejected and did not survive. She was not wearing a seat belt, according to a preliminary report from the Butler County Sheriff's Office.

 

The three other students were released from UC Health West Chester over the weekend.

RELATED: Teen killed in prom night crash was 'an angel'

The investigation is ongoing. Sheriff's Sgt. Melissa Gerhardt said crashes are not uncommon on Millikin Road.

"It’s hilly, it’s curvy in different spots, it’s straight in different spots. It’s just one of those rural roads where you don’t know," she said.

Accident reports show that no use of alcohol or drugs is suspected. Investigators plan to check the Tesla's black box to see how fast the car was going.

"There has to be a search warrant done, obviously, to get into the contents of that car to find out the factors on the speed, and those kinds of things take time. You have to send that off and somebody has to tell you what the answer is to that," Gerhardt said.

Kaylie Jackson (Photo courtesy Deanna Henry)

Foster said he “blacked out” for about two hours and remembers nothing about the crash scene or being extricated from the car.

He is now recuperating at home.

“I’m grateful to God that my son is still alive,” his father, Mitchell Foster Sr., told the Journal-News.

The younger Foster told his sister he felt “tired and sadness,” but he was thankful for everyone’s support.

“Don’t take life for granted,” said Foster Jr., who added drivers should never speed regardless of the circumstances.

His sister, Keondra Eberthardt, said the four victims were "inseparable" and had planned to attend Ohio State University together.

Joel Harbarger, pastor of Monroe United Methodist Church, has counseled one of the families and told them they're not alone.

"It's going to take time to talk through things and heal, and it's never going to go away. The pain is always going to be there, but time does make it easier to deal with," Harbarger said.

Students have come out to support their classmates, holding a vigil at the high school and donating $2,000 in gift cards for the four families. One softball player's family bought several gift cards, then lost them. Coach Tim Ellis, a deacon at Watermark Church, told her to not worry.

"God knows your heart. God knows the intent. He'll replace these cards 10 times over," Ellis said he told her.

Since then, the family has gotten offers of money to replace the lost cards.

Larry Kinkopf, Watermark Church co-pastor, said tragedy can touch nearly everyone in a community like Monroe.

"We want the parents, we want the children involved, we want the classmates to all know that we will never stop giving the help and the hope and the hugs that they’re going to need," Kinkopf said.

Editor's note: WCPO does not normally identify minors to respect the privacy of victims' families. In this case, the sister of Mitchell Foster Jr., who survived, talked with us Monday to tell us about him and his condition. We identified Kaylie Jackson, who passed away Monday, because the coroner identified her and her family has been notified of her death.

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