Loved Ones Honor Bluffton Crash Victims - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Loved Ones Honor Bluffton Crash Victims

The bus crash killed five of Bluffton University's baseball team members. The bus crash killed five of Bluffton University's baseball team members.
Dana Arend, Zach's father, says he does not want his son to be forgotten. Dana Arend, Zach's father, says he does not want his son to be forgotten.
Julie Harmon says the pain of losing her son will never go away. Julie Harmon says the pain of losing her son will never go away.

BRYAN, OHIO -- A little more than five months ago five families lost their loved ones in a tragic Atlanta bus crash. On Wednesday, parents of the players and members of the Bluffton University team gathered in Bryan for a special tribute.

News 11's Jennifer Boresz was there.

It was an emotional day for all of the parents coping with the loss of their sons. They are just trying to survive their intense grief, but events like this help them get through it.

Last summer, David Betts and Zach Arend played baseball on the Bryan High School field. Today their parents are here, without them, being honored with a tribute to their sons.

"I think David would have really, really appreciated this," says John Betts, David's father.

Zach Arend's parents agree.

"He was our firstborn and only son so my husband spent so much time with him playing ball," says Caroline Arend, Zach's mother.

"We just want everyone to know what a wonderful young man he was and how important he was to us and we just don't want him to be forgotten," says Zach's father, Dana.

Now their former baseball league is making sure all five Bluffton University baseball players killed in a tragic bus accident last Spring will always be remembered.

"We changed our name from the Northwest Ohio Baseball League to the David Betts Baseball League. Then we decided to change all our year-end trophies to honor all the ball players," says Dave Rasey, commissioner of the league.

And that includes: the Zach Arend most valuable player award, the Cody Holp pitching award, the Tyler Williams best sportsman award, the David Betts batting champion award, and the Scott Harmon most improved player award.

Scott's parents were on the field to receive his trophy.

"We had Scott 19 years, a month and a week to the day, and in 20 years, when someone says 'What does this feel like?' I'm sure it's going to feel just like it does today," says Julie Harmon, Scott's mother.

Although their sons are gone, the league hopes a brand new endowment fund will keep these  baseball players' passion for the sport alive for years to come.

Posted by KO

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