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Driver arrested in death of high school student

A 21-year-old man was arrested Friday in connection with a crash on Redwood Avenue Friday morning that claimed the life of a 15-year-old boy waiting to catch a bus to school.

Christopher Faibish was booked on charges of criminally negligent homicide and heroin possession, according to Lt. Dennis Ward of the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety.

Faibish is a resident of the Rogue Valley, but exactly where was not available early afternoon Friday, Ward said.

Ward did not have details of the arrest location, but surmised it was at the Josephine County Jail or Asante Three Rivers Medical Center.

Faibish was driving a small pickup truck that struck 15-year-old Malachi Batty, who was waiting for a school bus at 6:50 a.m. Friday at the corner of Wineteer Lane and Redwood Avenue.

Grants Pass High Principal Ryan Thompson sent an email to staff and parents delivering the sad news.

“Life is so fragile,” Thompson told KAJO Radio.

Police said Faibish’s eastbound truck veered across all lanes of traffic and struck Batty, who was standing on the sidewalk waiting for a school bus to arrive. Ward said he believed Batty was standing by himself.

Batty died later at the hospital.

He was a sophomore at Grants Pass High, where grief counselors were brought in, said Superintendent Kirk Kolb.

“The high school is deploying a response team to support students and staff,” Kolb said.

At the scene of the accident, books from a backpack were scattered at the intersection, where police put up yellow crime scene tape and photographed the scene.

The intersection is a bus stop for Grants Pass High School.

— Reach reporter Jeff Duewel at 541-474-3720 or jduewel@thedailycourier.com

Christopher Faibish