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2nd Hiram freshman dies after crash


Published: Wed, March 15, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.


CHAMPION -- Services will be at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Champion Christian Church, 151 Center St. West, for Andrew Hopkins, 18, a Champion High School graduate and Hiram College freshman, who died Monday afternoon in MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland from injuries he suffered in a March 2 traffic accident in Burton.
Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and one hour before the service in the church.
Hopkins, a son of Ken and Robin Hopkins of Jonathan Lane, was one of three Hiram College freshmen in a car he was driving that was struck head-on by a pickup truck at 9:10 p.m. on a curved section of state Route 700 on a snowy evening.
A passenger in the car, Grace J. Chamberlain, 18, of Kirtland, died the night of the accident in Geauga Regional Hospital in Chardon.
Another passenger, Evan C. DaSilva, 19, of North Kingston, R.I., who was Hopkins' college dormitory roommate, was in fair condition late Tuesday at MetroHealth.
The car carrying the students was northbound, when it was struck by the southbound pickup truck, which failed to negotiate the curve and went left of center while fleeing from a Burton police officer, said the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Chardon post.
About truck driver
The truck driver, James D. Cline, 47, of Burton, smelled strongly of alcohol, appeared to be intoxicated, and refused to answer any questions when the patrol tried to interview him after the accident, the patrol said in the crash report.
Hopkins was active in the church's youth ministry and was an accomplished alto saxophone player, who enjoyed jazz, concert and marching band participation, says a statement from the family released by the Cleveland hospital. He was also a member of the National Honor Society at the high school and a volunteer camp counselor.
"We have been strengthened by the concern of strangers who identify with our pain and loss and ask continued prayers for Evan DaSilva as well as the Chamberlain family," the Hopkins family said, calling the accident a "senseless tragedy."
"We hope you will continue to keep Evan in your thoughts and prayers," Thomas V. Chema, Hiram College president, said in a Monday letter to the campus community.
Chema's letter announced Hopkins death "with tremendous sadness," and said campus memorial services were planned for Chamberlain and Hopkins. He also said Jon Moody, college chaplain, and student life staff would be available "to provide support during this difficult time."
A dispatcher at the OSHP's Chardon post referred inquiries about charges against Cline to Geauga County Municipal Court, where officials could not be reached to comment Tuesday night.


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