Community remains ‘Franklin Strong’ after drowning tragedy

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FRANKLIN, Ind. (June 12, 2014) — The Franklin community support is still streaming in following a tragedy that has taken two young lives.

Jason Moran was with friends Sarah McLevish, Michael Chadbourne, Trent Crabb and Mark Nally swimming in the Big Blue River late last week. The Department of Natural Resources says McLevish was swept over the dam and was confined to raging water. Friends went in after her, and they too got caught in the water.

Crabb and Nally managed to swim ashore, McLevish and Chadbourne were pulled from the water unconscious after a period of time and CPR was done to save them. Moran was lost until Sunday morning when he was found dead.

Ritter’s Frozen Custard, a local sweet spot, held a fundraiser Thursday. Under the hot late spring sun, the line of Hoosiers was not short. Each one of the people knew that the spoons full of frozen custard they were enjoying meant something more.

“These kids will always be remembered in our hearts,” said Israel Ramirez. “(Number) 28 lives in all of us, and 38 lives in all of us also.”

Ramirez, and his family, sat under one of the blue and white umbrellas outside Ritter’s Frozen Custard. He said one of his sons knew Jason Moran closely.

“Our kids played on the same team, it was a sad day, but it’s also a celebration,” Ramirez said.

Someone else who knew Moran quite well is Ross Barr. His sister is engaged to Moran’s brother.

“Just a good, all around kid, tried 100 percent with everything he did, whether it was football or school work, he just was a good all around kid,” Barr said.

Barr was taking donations for the family and for bracelets to remember Moran.

“It’s nice to know in your heart that you have all of these people standing behind you and supporting the Moran family and the Chadbourne family,” Barr said. “It’s really nice.”

Ten percent of the proceeds from the sales will go to the Franklin Community High School Family Fund.