LONDON, Ohio (WCMH) — The London community and others in Madison County are mourning the loss of a beloved local mother and volleyball coach.
Jessica Ernst, 34, died after a car crash on Saturday morning. Parents of kids she coached said she was incredibly involved in the community.
“She just is constantly so giving and so far reaching, it’s just amazing,” said Amy Craft.
Craft and others placed a volleyball along West Jefferson Kiousville Road in Fairfield Township, just down the road from where the crash happened. The volleyball has the messages, “Fly high Jessica” and “We Love You Jessica” written on it. Craft’s daughter played for Ernst at the London Elite Volleyball Club.
“The thing I think she should be remembered for the most is just her giving spirit. She poured everything into those girls,” Craft said.
The crash happened near the intersection of West Jefferson Kiousville Road SE and Pringle Benjamin Road SE at about 11 a.m. Saturday. The other car did not stop at a stop sign, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The OSHP said Ernst was thrown from her vehicle. Ernst, who was eight months pregnant, died at the hospital on Saturday. The baby died Monday, according to the OSHP.
“Jessica was truly a one-of-a-kind person,” said Erin Cremeens, whose daughter was also coached by Ernst. “Whether it was on or off the volleyball court, she had one of the biggest hearts you would ever meet.”
Cremeens and Craft estimate Ernst touched thousands of lives through both coaching and helping out with 4-H.
“She had a huge impact on more people than most of us could ever hope to leave impacts on, and she’ll be forever missed,” said Cremeens.
According to the OSHP, the crash is still under investigation. Once the investigation is finished, the prosecutor will decide if the other driver will be charged.