BOILING SPRINGS, SC (FOX Carolina) -- Troopers with the South Carolina Highway Patrol said a child is dead and a driver is behind bars after a Friday morning crash along Highway 9 in Spartanburg County. 

According to the SCHP, the accident happened on Boiling Springs Road at Birds Eye View. We know that both lanes of the southbound side of Boiling Springs Road were blocked.

Troopers investigated the crash and found that the driver, identified as Michael Eugene Kelly II, 29, driving a 2014 Chevy crashed into the side of another vehicle. 

Troopers say that vehicle had an 11-year-old in the car who was injured and taken to the hospital. Kelly was also taken to the hospital for injuries. 

On Sunday afternoon, the Spartanburg County coroner announced that the 11-year-old, identified as Ethan Frank Rubenzer of Boiling Springs, passed away around 3:35 p.m. at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. The coroner is still conducting an investigation.

School officials with High Point Academy in Spartanburg confirmed Sunday evening that Ethan was a student at the school, The school will have counselors on campus beginning Monday and for as long as necessary.

The statement from High Point Academy follows:

"It is with extreme sadness that we inform you about a loss to our High Point Academy family. Sixth-grader, Ethan Rubenzer (11), died earlier today at Spartanburg Regional MEdical Center. He was severely injured in a vehicle accident on Friday morning, February 8. Ethan was a vibrant young man who always brought a smile to our faces, and he will be immensely missed.

"This is an incredibly difficult time for our school community. We grieve for the loss of a young life, and our thoughts remain with the family, friends, students, staff and community members who have been impacted. As our school community processes the tragic news and  copes with grief, counseling and bereavement support services will be available to all of our students, staff, and families. We will have extra counselors at the school on Monday and for as long as necessary in the days to come for anyone who may need or want help surrounding this loss.

"We are grateful for the continued support, love, and prayers from our community. We ask everyone to keep this family in their thoughts and prayers. We ask that you, please respect the privacy of our families during this difficult time."

A third vehicle involved in the accident was hit by the vehicle carrying Ethan when it overturned.

That vehicle had a 2-year-old child in the car. The child was unhurt, Troopers say. 

Kelly was initially charged with driving under the influence first offense and two counts of felony driving under the influence causing great bodily injury. 

Kelly's charges have been upgraded to two counts of felony DUI resulting in great injury and one count of felony DUI resulting in death. 

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family. If you are interested in donating, you can contribute here

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(2) comments


Is there any more information aboutnthe 11 year old boy. Did he make it?

DAsia Hamilton

He didn’t make it. He died Sunday morning. I have been devistated because we went to the same school. He was a grade above me.

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