Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 26, 2013

Auto accident claims life of popular Carter athlete

Funeral for Fankell to be Wednesday in the school gym

GRAYSON — A popular East Carter High School student and athlete will be remembered during funeral services at his school tonight and tomorrow.

Lewis John “Johnny” Fankell, 17, a junior at East Carter High School, where he also served as third baseman for the school baseball team, died Saturday in an automobile accident. Students from East Carter and West Carter High schools organized an impromptu memorial for Fankell on the East Carter High School baseball field Sunday afternoon, according to principal Larry Kiser, who said the student-organized gathering seemed to be an important early step in the grieving process countywide.

“They’re pretty torn up about it. They are asking ‘Why?’ and just grieving,” Kiser said Monday afternoon, explaining the high school staff planned a day of activities for students dealing with the emotions of losing a classmate, as well as counseling for any who wanted it from either of two guidance counselors or local pastors and youth pastors. The high school principal said Fankell was an FFA member, in addition to playing baseball and being widely regarded as “a good kid.”

“He was a well liked individual, not only here but at West Carter High School as well,” he said, explaining Fankell’s girlfriend is a cheerleader at the county’s other rival high school. Many of the students who gathered at the baseball field Sunday afternoon were West Carter students, Kiser noted.

“I think what happened yesterday at the baseball field helped a lot,” Kiser said, explaining students organized the memorial rally and invited youth pastors to speak briefly during the gathering. School staff offered bereavement activities including memorial cards for Fankell’s family, as well as a chance to sign or leave a note or drawing in permanent marker on Fankell’s student desk, he said, “Basically anything to help get them talking about what happened.”

East Carter baseball coach Jerimiah Shearer said Fankell was a hard worker and “pretty good hitter,” who had recently been spending extra time working with weights and looking forward to the upcoming season as the team’s third baseman.

“First and foremost, he was a great teammate,” Shearer said. “He was very unselfish. There were times last year when a senior varsity player forgot his belt and cleats and he would be the first to give up his belt and cleats so they could play. He was a kid that worked very hard.”

Kiser said visitation services will be conducted at the East Carter High School gymnasium from 6 to 9 p.m. today, with funeral services at the gym starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0728bank5.jpg Gate City landmark demolished

    The historic Catlettsburg National Bank Building was being taken down after the front dormer window collapsed on Sunday.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • Local counties see drop in unemployment

    Boyd County was one of 117 counties that saw a decrease in its unemployment rate between June 2013 and June 2014.
     

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726bigboy.JPG Big Boy to open Aug. 11

    The long-awaited Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant will open Aug. 11, and when it does it will be business as usual from day one: the eatery will open its doors to the early breakfast crowd at 6:30.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SOAR meeting at MSU Aug. 6

    Morehead State University and St. Claire Regional Medical Center will present Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers as part of a "Health Impact Series" under the new Shaping Our Appalachian Region initiative.
     

    July 27, 2014

  • MSU moving business admin. program online

    Morehead State University’s School of Business Administration has announced its bachelor of business administration degree in computer information systems has moved totally online beginning the fall 2014 semester.
     

    July 27, 2014

  • Thefts, fraud reported to APD

    The following information was taken from Ashland Police Department reports:
     

    July 27, 2014

  • Raceland couple join Peace Corps

    A couple from Raceland will travel to the Republic of Botswana on Aug. 10 to begin training as volunteers in the Peace Corps.

    July 27, 2014

  • Missing Boyd inmate returns to jail

    The Boyd County inmate who walked away from a work detail on Saturday turned himself back in to the Boyd County Detention Center on Sunday.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0728MoreheadMusic_1457.jpg Hills alive with Old Time Music

    The hills surrounding Morehead were alive again this weekend with the sounds of fiddles, banjos and deep Appalachian voices that help keep old time mountain music alive in a modern world.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bill Clinton coming to eastern Kentucky to stump for Grimes

    By RONNIE ELLIS
    CNHI News Service

    GLASGOW — Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again calling in the “Big Dog” in her quest to unseat five-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    July 27, 2014