Columbia County fatal crash; family mourns, arrest made

A Columbia County man is now in custody in connection to a deadly crash that killed his girlfriend.

The sheriff's office confirmed Wednesday night, May 22, that Neveln is in custody. The crash happened in the Town of Lewiston on Sunday, May 19.

The young woman who died has ties to Germantown. Her family said the suspect called them before running from the crash.

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To understand this family’s heartbreak, you have to meet Kayla McClenithan, the woman they’re mourning.

"She was this free-spirited child who wanted to do her own thing," said her mother, Debra Fritsch. "My heart is very sad."

Debra Fritsch

Fritsch said her daughter grew up in Germantown and recently moved to the Portage area. It would be her last home. 

"It just kills me to know I will never get to see her again," said Leighann Davies, her sister.

Family said the 21-year-old was a passenger in the deadly crash.


Columbia County fatal crash; driver sought, charges related to wreck

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's help to locate 26-year-old Keegin Neveln of Portage.

"You never know when you’re going  to lose someone," Fritsch said.

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The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said Keegin Neveln was wanted in connection to the crash. Family said Neveln crashed, left McClenithan behind, then called her sister.

"The boyfriend, Keegin Neveln, called me and told me there was a car accident," Davies said. "He didn’t know if Kayla was going to make it. He asked me to call it in. He told me the location of the crash."

Deputies had searched the area with a thermal drone and several K-9s.

"We didn’t know what condition she was in," Fritsch said. "It was like, heart-wrenching, like, where am I supposed to go? What am I supposed to do?" 

The family is raising money on GoFundMe for funeral arrangements.

They said they are leaning on faith to help with their broken hearts.

"She was left alone and only the angels could watch over her in her final moments," Fritsch said.

Editor's note: This story was updated to reflect Neveln's arrest, which came just hours after FOX6 aired and published this story.