Ohio High School Runner Killed by Falling Tree During Track Meet

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: andykazie

In a bizarre accident, an Ohio high school student recently died after a tree fell on top of him.

Owen Grubb, a track and field athlete at Minerva High School, sadly passed away on Saturday. Per reports from news outlets, following a cross-country track meet, a group of runners went into a wooded area and attempted to knock over a dead tree. 

The accident happened nearby the race venue. Cambridge City Schools hosted the event.

Tragically, the tree fell on Grubb, who tried to run away before it hit him, the outlet said, citing a report from the Cambridge Police Department. One witness said Grubb was pushing on the tree when it fell.

Per reports, once officials arrived at the scene, Grubb was not breathing, nor did he have a pulse. He was severely injured and life-flighted to a hospital in Akron, Ohio, where he was pronounced dead from his injuries, according to police reports. 

Gary Chaddon, superintendent of the Minerva Local School District, confirmed the student’s death in a statement published by ABC affiliate WEWS-TV.

“Last weekend, Minerva High School Junior Owen Grubb died from injuries he received in a post-race accident following a weekend cross-country meet,” Chaddon said in an official statement. He added, “This is a terrible time for his family, friends, and loved ones, and we extend our deepest condolences to all who cared for him.”

He continued: “We are all grieving the loss of Owen, who was a bright light in our high school and [an] exceptional student-athlete. We are keeping our entire school community close in our hearts during this time.”

Currently, officials have determined Grubb’s death to be an accident, and the students involved will not face criminal charges.

Ohio high school, community mourns the loss of track runner

“He’s a great kid and a great teammate,” Minerva Head Coach Olivia Scott told reporters. “Our girls and boys, our team, they’re brothers and sisters. The girls team is just as devastated as the boys team.” She added, “#WeRunForOwen” and the phrase, “Running Strong.”

As of Tuesday, a GoFundMe for the Grubb family had raised over $17,700. 

“As many of you know, the Minerva community has lost a young lion,” a description on the page says. “Owen Grubb was a 16-year-old junior at Minerva High School who lost his life as a result of an accident after his cross country race.”

It continued: “This should have been a time for celebration but instead his family, friends, teammates, and community are mourning his loss. As a parent you shouldn’t ever have to go through something like this, nor do you plan ahead for something like this to happen.”