At approximately 8:53 p.m., 911 dispatchers at the Clay County Sheriff's Department were notified of an accident that took place 700-feet south of County Road 1000 North on Kennedy's Crossing Road.
Upon arrival, officials discovered the driver Cameron Sanders, 18, Brazil, was able to get out of the vehicle, but passenger Halie Hite was still inside.
Once removed by members of the Dick Johnson Township Volunteer Fire Department and Clay County Search and Rescue, TransCare personnel immediately transported Hite to St Vincent Clay Hospital.
Shortly after 10:30 p.m., due to the injuries sustained in the accident, Hite was later pronounced dead by Clay County Coroner Joel Reinoehl.
As per official protocol in an accident involving a fatality, and a way to determine the cause of death, Reinoehl confirmed to The Brazil Times Dr. Roland Kohr performed an autopsy on Hite Friday afternoon. Kohr's preliminary results indicated she died from blunt force trauma to the head as a result of the accident.
According to information provided the CCSD, Sanders told officials he was traveling north on Kennedy's Crossing when he lost control of the vehicle in a curve in the roadway. Although he attempted to correct the vehicle, it ran off the road backwards and struck a tree on the driver side.
Sustaining minor injuries, Sanders was also transported to St. Vincent Clay Hospital for medical treatment and later released early Friday morning.
Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton confirmed toxicology testing was performed on Sanders.
"This is a standard procedure in this type of incident," Heaton said, adding the toxicology results would be release, when completed.
However, Heaton was able to confirm preliminary results of the ongoing investigation have determined the inclement weather conditions and the speed of the vehicle were potential factors in the accident.
As information about the two Northview High School students spread throughout the community, many of their friends and family members arrived at the hospital. As a way to help, when officials of the Clay Community School Corporation and the administration staff at Northview High School were notified of the incident, they took action.
"We made arrangements to open the Northview Auditorium," Superintendent Dan Schroeder told The Brazil Times Friday. "It was open for approximately three hours, maybe a little longer, and there were grief counselors and local clergy on hand to comfort those who needed it."
Before leaving the school early Friday morning, Northview Principal Tim Rayle sent an e-mail to parents letting them know grief counseling from school guidance counselors would be available throughout Friday. The counseling was also provided at North Clay Middle School.
At NHS early Friday morning, Schroeder said the atmosphere in the halls was subdued.
Although parents were allowed to pick up students if they wanted to, officials confirmed not many did.
"It was a regular day, but something like this affects the entire student body," Schroeder said. "Halie was well-liked and very active in school. This is the worst tragedy possible for a parent. Our heart goes out to Halie and Cameron and their families."
To allow students ample time for the grieving process, Schroeder said the Friday night NHS football game was postponed until 1 p.m., today.