Community mourns Symmes Valley graduate hit and killed by car

Friends of 20-year-old Houston Bennett say he was the sweetest person you could meet.
Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 11:12 PM EDT
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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) - A community is mourning the loss of a young man who was hit by a car and killed early Thursday morning.

Houston Bennett, who graduated from Symmes Valley High School last spring, died of his injuries following the accident on state Route 7, just south of Athalia, shortly before 1 a.m.

“A couple friends started texting me saying he’d passed,” Hunter Shepherd, who graduated with Bennett, said. “I honestly didn’t believe it.”

Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers say Bennett was on the road when he was hit by a Ford Explorer heading north. Friends say Bennett was not far from where he was living.

The 20-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

“I’m still trying to process it, I guess,” Shepherd said. “It doesn’t seem real.”

“It was shock,” former classmate Maggie Wise said. “I didn’t have any words. It was hard to even process at the time someone you know personally gone so soon.”

Wise grew up in Willow Wood right across from Bennett, who was better known as Huey.

“He had the Xbox, so I was over there, or he’d ask if I’d want to go on a walk, and we’d take a hike somewhere,” she said. “He was probably the sweetest person we all knew. He’d go out of his way to make someone laugh or smile.”

Shepherd played football with Bennett.

“Everyone knew him as the happy, outgoing, best guy at school just about,” he said. “He always had a positive outlook on things. Even now I’d say he wouldn’t want us to be sad. He’d want us to try to be happy about everything no matter what. That’s just the kind of person Huey was.”

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