Memorial services planned for Franklin drowning victim

Jason Moran died Friday trying to save a friend in a swimming accident.
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Services have been announced for a Franklin student who died in the Big Blue River last week.

Visitation for 17-year-old Jason Moran will be held at the Franklin Community High School gymnasium Wednesday (June 11) from 1-7 p.m. Those attending are asked to enter through doors 14, 15 and 16 on the west side of the building. A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m.

Moran will be buried Thursday in a private family service.

Moran and four friends were swimming in the Big Blue River Friday afternoon when one of the girls was swept over a dam. Moran went into the water to save her, but was lost in the water. His body was recovered Sunday.

Two other students, Sarah McLevish and Michael Chadbourne, both 16 years old, were pulled unresponsive from the water Friday afternoon. Chadbourne passed away Monday afternoon, while McLevish remains in critical condition.

Monday afternoon, memorials lined the river bank where the teenagers were swimming. Friends paused to reflect. Those who knew Moran well were not surprised at his heroic efforts.

"Jason was a great kid. He'd do anything for anyone, always put others in front of him," said Alex Claxton. "I'm close to my friends, but they...they were inseparable."

At the high school and across town, there are blue ribbons everywhere. It's been tough on students, even those who don't know the victims personally.

"Because it's so unexpected. No one expects to pass away so quickly, so young. It could have been any of us," said Daisy May.

Football coach Adam Reese says Moran was a great kid, but his heart goes out to the others, as well.

"These five students are all students of Franklin Community High School and we want to keep them all in our thoughts and prayers," Reese said.

A local flower shop is donating the blue ribbons and placing them throughout the town and at the school for a memorial on Wednesday.

"Anything we can do to help with the grieving and recovery. (It) will be hard on children at school," said Karen Morgason, JP Parker Flowers.

"Franklin Community Schools and the entire Franklin community would like to express our deepest sympathies to the Moran family, and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the rest of the families involved. We wish to extend our sincere appreciation to all of the first responders and emergency personnel. Multiple agencies from various counties responded and worked seamlessly in the search and recovery," the school district wrote in a release Monday.

An official fund has been set up on behalf of all five families. The "FCHS Family Fund" will be held at Heartland Community Bank. Those wishing to make a donation can drop them off at any Heartland Community or Horizon Bank location. Checks payable to "FCHS Family Fund" can be mailed to:

Franklin Community High School
2600 Cumberland Drive
Franklin, IN 46131