Friends remember Bloom-Carroll cheerleader killed in crash

FAIRFIELD CO., OH (WCMH) — Friends of Leah Jackson said they are trying to remain positive and remember the good times they shared before Friday’s tragic accident.

“She was like an outgoing, bright-shining person and just amazing,” said Samantha Gardner.

15-year-old Leah, a sophomore at Bloom-Carroll High School, was killed in a car crash just down the road from the school Friday evening.

It happened around 11:08pm Friday on Plum Road in Greenfield Township. According to the Lancaster Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a 16-year-old girl was driving a Ford Focus west on Plum Road near Havensport Road when the vehicle went off the side of the road and struck a tree.

The driver of the vehicle, who has not been identified, was treated for her injuries at Fairfield Medical Center.

Leah, a passenger in that vehicle, was transported by Med Flight to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

The State Patrol says both Leah and the driver were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. For now, flowers mark the area where the accident happened.

Savanna Rife, another longtime friend of Leah, said she was one of the best cheerleaders she had seen.

“She loved shopping, and we would talk about shopping every day,” she said. “We wanted to travel and go to LA, and have a store of our own, a boutique.”

It was a dream cut short, and these two friends say they have one final message that they have learned at a very young age.

“I just want everyone to know that you need to cherish the moments you have with the people you love because it can be gone quickly,” said Rife.

There will be a vigil at the high school March 8 at 6pm.

Bloom-Carroll Schools superintendent Shawn Haughn released the following statement to the media:

Today we received sad news that has affected the Bloom-Carroll Community deeply. We learned that one of our students, BCHS Sophomore Leah Jackson, died as a result of injuries sustained in a single car accident that occurred around 11:00 p.m. on Friday night. Leah was a kind and caring student with a gentle personality. She had many friends and was active in our high school through her participation in school clubs and as a member of the varsity cheerleading squad. Leah will be deeply missed by our entire school district community.

Another high school student was injured in the accident and is expected to make a full recovery. The district has been in contact with both families to offer our full support during this difficult time.

Our District’s Traumatic Event Response Team is handling the situation in a calm, compassionate, and respectful manner. Please be assured that team members will continue to provide support for students and staff as long as a need exists. A school counselor was available to assist students this morning. On Monday, there will be district personnel – counselors and our district psychologist – available to students who need support. There will also be help available from community agencies.

Our hearts, thoughts, deepest sympathies, and prayers go out to the families impacted by this tragic accident. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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