Franklin community mourning loss of Michael Chadbourne

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) – The community of Franklin is mourning the loss of a second teenager after a tragic swimming accident in Big Blue River.

16-year-old Michael Chadbourne was declared brain dead. On Monday, his family decided to donate his organs and take him off life support. Officials say Chadbourne passed away early Wednesday morning.

His friend, 17-year-old Jason Maron was pulled from the river Sunday morning.

The Franklin community mourned the loss of two teens Tuesday night while rooting for a third who is fighting for her life.

16-year-old Sarah McLevish’s mother has been updating a public Facebook page called “When Sarah Smiles.” At last word, things aren’t looking great.

Franklin Community High Head Football Coach has a team now in shambles.

“I think that the first time we take the field on game night I’m certain it’s going to be an emotional time,” said Head Coach Adam Reese.

Friday, Jason Moran, Michael Chadbourne, Trent Crabb and Mark Nelly all jumped in the Big Blue River when they saw Sarah McLevish was struggling.

“They were a very close knit group and were very close as friends,” said FCHS Principal Doug Harter.

Trent and Mark made it out safely. McLevish is still fighting for her life. Moran’s body was found Sunday morning. Chadbourne’s organs are being donated. Tuesday, a community mourned the loss of numbers 28 and 38.

“I can promise you that our team will do something to honor the memories of both of these young men,” said Reese.

“The Thursday before the accident Mark Nally and Jason Moran gave me a ride home,” said Cody Greathouse, football teammate.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been flooded with condolences and messages of hope with the #FranklinStrong

“It’s really amazing how such a small community can come together like this and just be supportive,” said classmate Taelor Cragen.

Tuesday morning Sarah’s mother updated her daughters condition on Facebook by saying doctors detect brain damage, but they have “had many small positive baby steps and thankfully no negative set backs.” Hopefully steps toward Sarah making a full recovery.

“So, I’m confident that the community will come around them. The student body will continue to come around them and provide the support they’ll need as well,” said Harter.

Anyone wanting to contribute to the five families involved in this incident can do so in an account at Heartland Community Bank that was set up by Franklin Community High School. There is also a GoFundMe account for Michael Chadbourne and an account set up at Mutual Savings Bank for Jason Moran’s family.

A memorial service is planned for Jason Moran at the FCHS Wednesday at 7 p.m. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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