PITSBURG, Ohio – The light from two candles spread to illuminate hundreds more Tuesday evening as the Franklin Monroe community gathered to remember Hudson and Katy Nestor.
The brother and sister, who were students at Franklin Monroe, died in a two-vehicle crash south of Gettysburg on Monday. On Tuesday hundreds of members of the community gathered on the grounds of Franklin Monroe Local Schools to remember them.
“We started tonight with just two candles, one for Katy and one for Hudson,” said PJ Burgett, the high school and middle school principal at Franklin Monroe.
“We started out with two candles and now we have hundreds of them lit. There’s a soft glow as you look all around you. All this started with just two candles.”
Just like the light from the candles spread to hundreds more, Hudson and Katy were remembered for touching many lives.
“They touched more lives in 13 and 17 years that I’ll ever do my whole life,” their father, Scott Nestor, said.
Both siblings were remembered as popular students who were very involved in their community.
“These two students have made a humungous impact on this school and the community, a positive impact,” Burgett said.
Even in death Hudson and Katy are continuing to touch lives. Hudson was an organ donor, and his eyes will help a local boy see.
“They have a lot of body parts that they can use, and it’s going to help a lot of people,” Scott Nestor said.
Hudson, a 17-year-old junior, played soccer and baseball for Franklin Monroe and was taking classes at Edison State Community College, as well. He loved hunting, fishing, snowboarding, snow skiing, boating and working on cars.
“He loved to build things,” his grandmother Connie Rinehart of Greenville said. “And so for Christmas we bought him an Erector Set, the adult style, and it came in the mail today. We’ll give it to his brothers, and Grandpa’s going to help build it.”
Katy, a 13-year-old eighth grader, played soccer and was active in cheerleading and choir. She also loved horseback riding, snow skiing and shopping.
“They loved each other,” Scott Nestor said. “There’s no doubt about it. Katy had the biggest heart a girl could ever have. They were the best kids I ever knew.”
Even though they knew Franklin Monroe was a tight-knit community, family members were surprised by just how many people came out to celebrate the lives of Hudson and Katy.
“We’re so proud of a grandson that could have this kind of love shown to him,” Hudson’s grandfather Dan Rinehart said. “How special does that make him.”
Tuesday’s candle light vigil included memories about Hudson and Katy, prayer and community members singing “Amazing Grace.” The vigil lasted a little more than 10 minutes, but friends and family remained at the school much longer to grieve together.
“I didn’t expect a turnout like this,” their father said. “It’s just amazing. It really is. They would be proud.”
Family members of Hudson and Katy said family, friends and faith are helping them cope in this tough time, and they encouraged those in attendance to cherish the time they have with their families.
“In a post on Katy’s Instagram, she said, ‘Faith tells me no matter what lies ahead of me God is already there,’” Burgett said.
FRANKLIN TWP. – The Darke County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the cause of the car accident that claimed the lives of the brother and sister Monday night.
At approximately 7:47 p.m. Monday, the Darke County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting a serious crash at Gettysburg-Pitsburg Road and Neff Road in Franklin Township. The location of the crash was 3.5 miles south of the village of Gettysburg, Ohio. Darke County Deputies, Gettysburg Fire and Rescue and Arcanum Rescue units responded.
The preliminary investigation revealed a 2016 Volvo tractor trailer driven by James Dunkel, 64, of LaGrange, Indiana, was turning south onto Gettysburg-Pitsburg Road from Neff Road when a northbound 1997 Honda sedan driven by Hudson Nestor, 17, of Bradford, Ohio, drove under the trailer and continued north off the right side of the road, striking a tree.
Hudson and Katy, a passenger in the car, were both pronounced dead at the scene. There were no other occupants in the car. Dunkel, the driver of the tractor trailer, was not injured in the crash and was the single occupant of that vehicle.
Darke County Coroner Dr. Timothy Kathman and his chief investigator responded to the scene. The Darke County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Crash Reconstruction team also responded the scene.
At the conclusion of the investigation the case will be forwarded to the Darke County Prosecutor’s Office for review. No charges or citations have been issued at this time.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.