NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – One of the victims in a double-fatal crash near Lake Milton on Sept. 28 was a beloved member of the New Middletown community and host to foreign exchange students.
WKBN talked to Bill Mounts’ daughter and the students who lived with him at the time of his death.
“It’s kind of something out of like a horror movie or something, with everyone screaming and crying,” said Lesley Mounts.
Bill’s daughter Lesley described how she felt after hearing the news of her father’s death.
“I was actually on the floor crying and my whole family was crying. I couldn’t really believe… something like a shock,” she said.
While Lesley was Bill’s biological daughter, he was also a father figure to 10 boys.
Every year, Bill would take in two boys from another country to stay with him as part of a foreign exchange program.
“They all individually became family,” Lesley said. “Ever since the first two boys that we had, every year we spent holidays, we went on trips, birthdays.”
This year was no different.
Bill took in two boys, one from Italy and another from Portugal, and just like his former students, one of their first experiences of American culture was the Canfield Fair, even though it’s not for everyone.
“I’m going to be honest, it was kind of boring but I knew if I have my friends and my family… I understand. It’s fun, the fair,” said Henrique Neves, a student from Portugal.
He also took the boys to their first football game at Struthers High School.
“It’s good. I don’t understand the rules but I like it, the sport,” said Omar Menae, a student from Italy.
Now, both boys have a new host family. They transferred to Boardman High School but will still stay close with Lesley.
“Unfortunately, they do have to switch schools but to know that they’re close and to know I can text the family and say, ‘I’d like to see them,’ feels good to me,” Lesley said.