A 15-year-old autistic North Ridgeville boy died after a vehicle he was driving struck a tree Tuesday morning.
North Ridgeville police said the accident happened at 4:44 a.m. Tuesday on the south side of Otten Road near the entrance to the Sandy Ridge Reservation.
Officers said the teen, Orion Zarefoss, was trapped inside the car and firefighters had to cut him out.
Lifeflight Medical Personnel pronounced him dead at the scene.
According to Orion’s mother, Myra Zarefoss, the teen was nonverbal and didn’t know how to drive.
Myra spoke to 19 News in order to dispel rumors and to inform the community that her son was not fully aware of the danger he posed to himself and others when he got behind the wheel.
North Ridgeville school officials said Zarefoss and he just finished his 8th-grade year at the North Ridgeville Academic Center.
School officials added there will be counselors available at the main office of the North Ridgeville Academic Center on Weds. July 3 from 8:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.
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