Monday, June 26, 2000

La Salle grads die in auto collision

By Tom O'Neill
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP, Ind. — Two June graduates of LaSalle High School were killed when the car they were passengers in collided with a tractor-trailer late Saturday night, the Franklin County sheriff's department said Sunday.

        The young men, along with three other teens, were on their way to a graduation party of a friend in Indiana, according to an aunt of one of those killed.

        The young men who died lived blocks from each other. All but the driver were 2000 LaSalle graduates, a friend said.

        James E. Harris, 18, and James F. Schoenlaub, 18, both of White Oak, were pronounced dead at the scene.

        The driver, Colerain High graduate Bradley Ranz, 18, of the Peach Grove section of Colerain Township, and one passenger, David M. Kaiser, 18, of Cincinnati, remained in critical condition Sunday at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

        A fourth passenger, Eric Giordano, 17, of Cincinnati, was in serious condition at Good Samaritan Hospital.Police did not say whether the teens were wearing seat belts. The cause remains under investigation.

        Mr. Schoenlaub was expected to enter the University of Cincinnati in the fall.

        “There isn't anything he wouldn't do for somebody else,” his aunt, Lynn Yockey of White Oak, said Sunday.

        Sunday, mourners gathered at the Schoenlaub home, and a memorial was held at LaSalle.

        “The hard thing is when I make myself picture him lying in the coffin,” friend Keith Schneider said of Mr. Schoenlaub.

        The rig driver, James L. Hill, 38, of Sunman, was unhurt.

        Investigators said the teens, in a 1999 Acura Integra, turned onto U.S. 52 from Ind. 1near Cedar Grove. There is a stop sign for those making that right turn, the sheriff's department said. They turned east onto U.S. 52 into the eastbound path of the truck.

        Mr. Hill swerved into the westbound lane to avoid a collision but at the same moment, Mr. Ranz was trying to pull into a driveway on the westbound side of U.S. 52.

        Staff writer Cindi Andrews contributed.



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