Jarred Hixson (pictured) died with friend Troy Haney after leaving the Greene County Career Center Oct. 16, 2019. CONTRIBUTED

Students killed in crash studied welding together at career center

Friends and family are grieving the loss of two students at the Greene County Career Center, where the teenagers were known to be courteous and helpful in a team environment.

Troy Haney and Jarred Hixson, both 16 and from Xenia, died at the scene of a two-vehicle collision shortly after they left school Wednesday afternoon on Ohio 235 near Hilltop Road.

RELATED: 2 dead after head-on crash in Greene County

Haney was driving a 2008 Kia Spectra southbound when the vehicle went left-of-center and struck head-on a Mercury Grand Marquis driven by 23-year-old Shelby Mills, of Brookville.

Mills was taken to Greene Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries not considered life-threatening. Her passenger, a 4-year-old girl, was not injured, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Troy and Jarred were friends who took some of the same classes together at the career center, including welding. Their teacher, Mike Thompson, said the pair worked in the same booth and “constantly helped each other with each of the processes they were learning.”

“Both were courteous, professional and had a great work ethic,” Thompson said. “They were easy to talk to, were receptive to teaching and showed excellent teamwork. This is a tremendous loss for our welding program and Greene County Career Center.”

Grief counselors and other resources have been made available at the career center and in Xenia Community Schools, the boys’ home school district. GCCC Superintendent Dave Deskins said in a prepared statement that the students’ deaths are “an incredible loss to our entire school community.”

Xenia Community Schools Superintendent Gabriel Lofton said in a prepared statement the community is saddened by their loss.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families of these young men, and our thoughts will continue to be with them in the difficult times ahead,” Lofton’s statement reads.

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Jarred’s aunt, Brittanie Hatfield, said her nephew grew up playing football and disliked school until this year after starting at the career center. Jarred hated getting up early for school but made sure he was never late this year.

“He had such a big, funny sense of humor,” Hatfield said. “He always had a big smile on his face, and most of all, he absolutely loved his momma and his brothers and his entire family.”

Troopers continue to investigate the crash and are working to determine what factors may have led to Troy’s vehicle crossing the center line, according to the patrol.

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