Teen killed in Fulton Co. crash

School photo of 17-year-old Jacob Fritsch who was a senior at St. John's Jesuit High School & Academy.
School photo of 17-year-old Jacob Fritsch who was a senior at St. John's Jesuit High School & Academy.

LYONS, OH (TOLEDO NEWS NOW) - The Ohio State Highway Patrol confirms 17-year-old Jacob Fritsch of Swanton was killed in a two-vehicle crash late Sunday in Fulton County.

The crash happened on US-20 just west of route 109 in Lyons at approximately 11:55 p.m. Route 20 is open again after being shut down for more than seven hours Monday morning during the investigation.

A news release by the highway patrol reports Fritsch was traveling westbound on US-20 in a 1997 Saturn SC when he drove left of center and struck a semi truck traveling eastbound. That truck was driven by 43-year-old Daniel Schmahl of Plymouth, WI. After the collision, both vehicles left the roadway, and the truck cab caught fire.

"There's so many things that can happen so fast and like in this particular crash, the events unfolded so quickly," said Sgt. Shane Johnson.

Fritsch was pronounced deceased at the scene. Schmahl sustained no injuries.

Johnson said every deadly crash troopers respond to is hard enough, but crashes involving young lives are even tougher on them.

"When it involves a child, and you know many of us have children of our own, you know, it makes you step back. You kind of wonder, why and what's going on with that person?" said Johnson.

Both drivers were wearing their seat belts. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.

"We need to determine why at that hour, why that young man was out at that hour, where he was coming from, where he was headed," said Johnson.

St. John's Jesuit High School & Academy in Toledo has confirmed Fritsch was a student there. The school released this statement Monday morning:

"It is with great sadness that St. John's Jesuit High School & Academy announces the passing of Jacob Fritsch '12 on Sunday evening. Jacob was a Senior at SJJ and was in his sixth year at the school after enrolling in the SJJ Academy in the Fall of 2006.

An all-school Mass was held this morning in honor of Jacob, and school counselors will be available all day to aid students in the grieving process."

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