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9-1-1 Calls Released of Coach Killed in Wrong Way Crash
SPRINGFIELD -- Calls from panicked drivers in Clark County flooded 9-1-1 early Sunday morning.
CALLER: "There's a car on the wrong side of the highway, going really fast and it almost hit me."
CALLER: "I'm driving a semi, this car pulled out in front of me, turned his lights on and slammed on his breaks."
We've confirmed Francois Hagenimana, 24, was returning from Columbus driving west in the eastbound lanes of I-70.
Police are not saying why he was headed the wrong way, but we know the other man killed was Jason Fricke, 28, of Westerville. He had graduated from Wright State in 2010 as an engineering major.
Friends of Hagenimana say news began to spread Sunday morning that the Centerville High School assistant coach went the wrong way on I-75 while driving back from Columbus and crashed head-on into Fricke. Both men died instantly.
"It's very devastating," said Hagenimana's friend Amos Nsengimana. "It will take me a while to get over it, it really will. Sometimes when something like this happens you start asking yourself if I should have done something different."
The team had just returned Saturday night from a game in Florida and everyone went their separate ways, Hagenimana to Columbus.
"We just spent an unbelievable weekend together with a win and everyone celebrating, having a good time and then this happens," said Centerville athletic director Rob Dement.
This was Hagenimana's first year coaching at Centerville High school. The team plans to honor both victims Friday when they suit up at home against Fairmont.
The mood was somber in the halls at the high school where Hagenimana coached and used to attend.
"Providing counseling here for all the players, cheerleaders, trainers, also teachers and staff because Francois was a three-sport athlete and affected a lot of people," said Dement.
"A parent should not have to bury their kids. It's just a tough loss because he had so much to offer to the world," said Nsengimana. "For only being 24 he was very mature for his age, he was ambitious. His plans were to join the Navy SEALs after a few years of coaching that was his goal and I have no doubt that he would have succeeded in that because he was a very determined young man."
Friends tell us Hagenimana leaves behind two brothers, a sister and a mother. The family is from Rwanda and managed to escape the genocide.
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