Warren student Church dies in ATV accident

MARIETTA – Warren High School senior Danielle Church, of 4317 Ohio 550, died Saturday night after an ATV accident in Cutler.

Grief counselors will be on duty today at Warren High as the community mourns Church’s death less than a month before Graduation Day (May 23) for the Class of 2014.

Church was a passenger on an a 2009 Polaris RZR 800 driven by a man identified as her half brother, Stephen A. Sewell, 23, of Bartlett, according to a report from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

WCSO Lt. Pat Gherke said the crash occurred around 7 p.m. Saturday on 1195 Graham Road in Cutler.

Church suffered severe head trauma in the crash, the sheriff’s report said. She was transported to Marietta Memorial Hospital by Wesley Township Volunteer Fire Department rescue squad. She was pronounced dead at MMH shortly after her arrival, the report said.

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said Sewell and Church had turned off Graham Road and onto a private driveway.

“It appeared they may have been traveling at a higher rate of speed than the road conditions warranted,” he said, adding both were ejected when the ATV hit a bump in the road and flipped onto its side.

CPR was performed on-scene before Church was transported to the hospital.

Kyle Newton, superintendent for Warren Local Schools, said he met with a team over the weekend on how best to react to student needs. Grief counselors will be at the school for students and staff through the week.

“I’m shocked, as I’m sure all of our organization is,” Newton said. “This is a hard time for a lot of different people. We want to make sure we’re supportive of our students.”

Mincks said he was unsure if Church was wearing protective gear, and that’s part of the reason why the accident is still under investigation.

There was no information available on Sewell’s condition.