The Columbus Far North Side community is remembering the sixth-grader from Worthington who was ki!!ed in a crash on Tuesday morning that shut down High Street for many hours as a beloved dancer and ardent Columbus Crew supporter.
When a commercial tractor-trailer and a 2022 Kia Sportage collided, Elia M. Barbon, 11, was a passenger in the Kia. The driver of the Kia was attempting to make a left turn from High Street onto Orchard Knoll Lane. At 6:59 in the morning, Elia was declared dead on the spot.
When contacted by The Dispatch on Wednesday morning, a district representative confirmed Elia was a sixth-grader at Perry Middle School in the Worthington School District. According to the district, grief counselors were accessible to both employees and students.
“The student was a beloved member of our school community, and her passing has left a void that will be felt by all those who knew her,” a district email signed by superintendent Trent Bowers said. “Please keep the family, friends, and loved ones affected by this loss in your thoughts.”
Elia was a dancer at the Cutting Edge Dance Center on the Far North Side, according to a GoFundMe campaign set up to assist Elia’s parents with burial costs.
Elia was a part of the Columbus Crew’s super fan club known as the Hive, according to posts on social media. One of the defenders for the Crew, Josh Williams, tweeted condolences after she passed away.
First responders were summoned at 6:36 am to the scene of the collision, which caused High Street/U.S. 23 to be closed between Lazelle and Powell roads for several hours.
The Ohio Department of Transportation reported that the exits from Interstate-270 east and West that go to U.S. 23 north were also shut down.
According to the accident report, the driver of the Kia, 28-year-old Whitney D. Gater of the Northeast Side, was taken with significant injuries to OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital.
According to a later update, Gater’s status was categorized as stable, the Columbus Division of Police said in a press release on Tuesday.
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The Kia’s driver was seen traveling north and attempting to make a left turn onto Lazelle when it turned onto Orchard Knoll Lane, according to witnesses who were stopped at a red light on Lazelle Road facing west.
However, a commercial tractor-trailer traveling south on High Street and the car collided at the intersection. According to the accident report, the tractor-trailer’s driver was Michael A. Buser, 58, of Newark, and it belonged to an Iowa-based hauling business.
Buser was treated at Riverside for minor wounds he received in the collision. Roads couldn’t be reopened until Columbus police had cleaned the site at 1 p.m.
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