A 17-year-old boy was struck and killed by a passing semitrailer on southbound Interstate 71 in Union Township Sunday morning.
Joshua Alcorn, 17, of Kings Mills, was in the road near the South Lebanon exit just before 2:30 a.m. when a tractor-trailer operated by Abdullahi Ahmed, 39, of Florence, hit the boy, according to police reports.
Alcorn was transported from the scene by the Warren County Coroner’s Office.
Ahmed was wearing a seat belt during the accident and was uninjured. Police do not yet know whether or not he was impaired.
Southbound I-71 was closed for just under an hour before reopening Sunday morning.
The incident is being investigated by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
In death, the transgender 17-year-old – born Josh Alcorn – wanted to make sure others never felt the way she did.
“The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights,” Alcorn wrote in a post on the social media blog site Tumblr.
“My death needs to mean something,” she wrote in the post, which she scheduled to appear the day after her death.
That plea marked her final public words.
On Sunday, just before 2:30 a.m., Alcorn walked 4 miles from her middle-class Kings Mills neighborhood with its views of Kings Island to Interstate 71. There, she was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer. The highway was closed for more than a hour.
By Tuesday evening, Leelah’s story had become a worldwide story – one of how transgender teens often feel alone and afraid. The hashtag #LeelahAlcorn was topping Twitter; news sites worldwide had picked up the story; and someone had even created a Wikipedia page for Alcorn.
The State Highway Patrol continues to investigate; no charges have been filed. Her body was sent to the Montgomery County coroner for an autopsy, which will take several weeks.
Alcorn’s mother, Carla Wood Alcorn, wrote on Facebook Sunday, “My sweet 16-year-old son, Joshua Ryan Alcorn, went home to Heaven this morning. He was out for an early morning walk and was hit by a truck. Thank you for the messages and kindness and concern you have sent our way. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.” The post has since been taken down.
According to the school statement, Alcorn attended Kings schools and was most recently enrolled as an 11th grader at the Ohio Virtual Academy, an online school.