LaGrange crash claims 17-year-old boy’s life

Staff Report

A Wildcats football star was killed Friday when his car went off the road and crashed into two trees.

Nathaniel Barrett, 17, of Wellington, was a junior at Keystone High School. He was the son of Kathy and Chris Yeager.

State troopers said he died following the crash at 4:17 p.m. on Rt. 301 south of Whitney Road in LaGrange Township.

No other vehicles were involved. Investigators weren’t sure why Barrett’s 2006 Acura MDX lost control and crossed the opposite lane, but they don’t believe alcohol or drugs were involved.

Barrett was wearing a seat belt but was fatally injured. He was pulled from the vehicle by LaGrange firefighters and taken to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center.

Barrett, who suited up with No. 19 for the Wildcats on Friday nights, also played baseball and ran track.

Football coach Don Griswold, who arranged a weekend service for students to grieve, spoke out on Twitter.

“Our actions matter. Being kind and thoughtful of others matters,” he posted. “Encouraging others matters. Every single day. Honor your friend by remembering him and the ways that he impacted you and others.”

A fundraising page as of early Monday had reached $6,165 of its $10,000 goal for the Barrett-Yeager family. It remains open at (we created a shorter link for readers:

“His family and community lost an amazing son, brother, grandson, uncle, friend, and teammate,” the page says, mourning the loss that has left family devastated.

Among the donors was Patricia Able, who wrote, “We will miss you forever, Nate. I felt like your assistant mom… May you be in a wonderful place and be there to great any other friends that come your way. You had so many friends that loved you. God bless you!”

Another donor was Brooklyn Bachman: “It was an honor to be in the same class with him! I can’t imagine the school day without him! My prayers go out to the family/ friends and my other classmates!”

And another: “Nate was a classmate, friend, and teammate to Madi and Karson Cendrosky,” wrote Sharlee Cendrosky. “They are heartbroken over his passing. Karson spoke of his memories of Nate and how Nate helped mentor him with football and helped him remember his plays. You all are in our prayers.”

The district, on its webpage, mourned the loss of a member of the Keystone family.

“We would like to express our deepest sympathy to his parents, siblings, family, friends, and loved ones. We are here for you as we all mourn your loss and ours as well. You are in our prayers.”

Grief counselors were made available to students Monday.

Staff Report