LIMA -- The Lima-Shawnee area in Allen County is shocked and saddened by the tragedy which claimed the lives of Jeff and Jeremy Hutchinson in a plane crash off Kelleys Island Monday evening. A husband, a father is gone, and so is a son, a brother.
The positive to come out of this tragedy, reports News 11's Rob Wiercinski, is that a 7-year-old boy survived. And he's going home. Indeed, Joel Hutchison was released on Wednesday from St. Vincent-Mercy Medical Center, where he'd been taken following the plane crash.
"You have all the pain of the loss, and yet you also have the hope of knowing where they are if they didn't make it, and that's what keeps them going," says Terry Davy, pastor of Gardendale Church of God, who is helping the Hutchison family get through this tough time.
Davy says he's amazed by what he calls a miracle, how 7-year-old Joel Hutchison was saved after the plane crash.
"He said, 'I was in the water and I just started praying to God that he would send me help' and he started yelling for help and he said a man in a rowboat came and got him," Davy says.
Classes continue at Shawnee Local Schools. Counselors were on hand at Maplewood Elementary, where Jeremy was attending classes as a fourth-grader.
"You really can't empathize enough and understand the emotion that must be going through the family at this time. But we're going to get through this because we're a strong community and we're going to support each other," said Paul Nardini, superintendent.
Jeff Hutchison operated a 700-acre farm, and he was wrapping up a 3-year term with Allen County's Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), donating time for important environmental issues.
"Money is no motivating factor for this job, just basically your passion for soil and water, and that's what he had," says Gary Werling, administrator of the SWCD.
Funeral arrangements have not been finalized, but Pastor Davy says the funeral will be held at the family's church.