BAINBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WJW)– It was a loss they didn’t see coming.
“I can’t wrap my head around like he’s not gonna be here. Like it makes me sick to my stomach to think about it,” Ben Kimpton said.
Kimpton is one of several friends of Cameron Toth, a senior at Kenston High School, leaning on each other after his untimely death.
“Just waking up and finding your friend is gone, it’s really surreal and not something like you can really process immediately,” Braden Lytton said.
Toth was driving around 9:30 a.m. Friday on Country Lane in Bainbridge Township, according to police. They said his car went off the road and hit a mailbox, a culvert and several trees.
It then overturned and the teen was thrown from the car. His friend Baylor Smith found out on social media and got to the scene as fast as he could. Toth was taken to Hillcrest Hospital and Smith followed.
“It was the longest two, three hours of my entire life. I was crying in the bathroom for a long time. I was praying and praying, hoping my best friend would make it but,” Smith said.
“It was just the biggest wake-up call to go the speed limit and wear your seatbelt because he probably would’ve been alive if he’d worn his seatbelt.”
He and his father, Chris, started a GoFundMe to help out Toth’s family. They said the family was appreciative and the fund far surpassed its goal within hours
“Out here at Kenston, we’re a small community with big hearts and bombers fly together. That’s our motto out here,” Chris Smith said.
As they came to grips with the tragedy, Toth’s friends told us who he was.
“He was the best person you could ask for in a friend. He was nice, respectful. He put everyone else above him, he cared about you before he cared about himself,” Kimpton said.
Kenston Local School released a statement expressing sympathies. It called him a hard-working student and applauded his high school football career.
“Cameron valued his friendships with all of his peers and was truly loyal to his closest friends… Cameron will be missed dearly by all,” the school district said.
Class seniors gathered with counselors and administrators privately Saturday night in Cameron’s memory.
The school and his friends said Toth was interested in welding and machinery, and had been accepted to college.
With graduation less than two weeks away, his friends said they will be holding him in their hearts.
“We just wish he was there, he would be there with us and I don’t think any of us are gonna forget about him,” Lytton said.
“He was one of those kids that wanted to always see others do well, so I’m gonna try and make him proud,” Kimpton said.
In their next chapter, Toth will be with them.
“Forever and always,” Smith said.
A passenger and a bystander were also taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to police.
Counselors will be available on Monday at Kenston High School for students and parents.