DELPHOS — A man who was the 2006 valedictorian of Delphos St. John’s High School and a Duke law school student was among the three who died Sunday in a 95-car pile up in Virginia.
Andrew T. Katbi died in the crash on Interstate 77 in southwest Virginia on Fancy Gap mountain that injured 25 others. Katbi was on his way back to Duke in Durham, N.C., from visiting a friend in Virginia when he was involved in the crash near the base of the mountain. A dense fog created poor driving conditions leading to the massive pileup just after 1 p.m.
Katbi is remembered for many things including his height at 6 foot 3, which often made him the tallest person in a room. But there were so many other great qualities. He was remembered for his unlimited potential with a bright future practicing law.
“He was just a few weeks from graduating with a law degree from Duke,” said his mother, Leslie Katbi.
The 24-year-old Katbi already had paid his dues as a law intern in Columbus, giving him enough experience to line up a job before he graduated. He was to practice business law in Ohio’s capitol.
“But he was interested in doing some kind of public service later on,” his mother said.
She said that interest blossomed last summer when he did an internship with the Ohio Public Defender’s Office, working on death penalty appeals.
Andrew Katbi’s brains and curiosity led him to high places. He graduated a few years ago from Ohio Northern University with a degree in finance, his mother said, but that was just a step to law school.
“Through one of his professors at Duke, he was part of the research group that wrote up briefs for the case review that the United States Supreme Court studied when they were getting ready to review the Affordable Health Care Act, Obamacare,” his mother said. “He would have made a great contribution to the world. He will be missed.”
Memorial services will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at Chiles-Laman Funeral & Cremation Services, Shawnee Chapel.
Friends may call from noon until time of services Saturday at the funeral home, where arrangements are incomplete.
Delphos St. John's 2006 valedictorian dies in Virginia crash