ARCADIA, Ind. (AP) — A car crash killed Indianapolis-area high school students who were on their way to prom, authorities said.
The two-vehicle crash, which also injured two other students, happened around 5:15 p.m. on Saturday. One vehicle, a Honda Accord, had four teens in it. They were on their way to Hamilton Heights High School’s prom in Kokomo when their vehicle collided with an SUV. Both vehicles ended up in a field.
The two deceased victims were identified as Lendon Byram, who was driving, and Kalen Hart, who was sitting in the front seat.
Hart was a senior at Hamilton Heights in Arcadia, according to the school. Byram was a junior at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, according to the school.
Hamilton Heights School Corporation canceled all prom-related activities and say grief counselors would be available at the school.
“No one expects something like this to happen, and when it does, it leaves an entire community grieving,” Superintendent Derek Arrowood said. “Please keep these families and our students in your thoughts and prayers.”
The two other injured students were transported to a hospital in Indianapolis with non-life-threatening injuries, police say.
Police say at this time drugs and alcohol are not believed to be a factor in the crash and the cause remains under investigation.
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Arrowood said they are working on plans to continue supporting students and the community in the coming days and weeks and will share more on those plans as they are finalized.
“In a school this size, everybody’s impacted and in a community this tight knit, everybody’s impacted,” said Arrowood.
He shared that the district prepares for a crisis and has plans in place in the event they are ever needed. He said although they hope to never use them, tonight they were able to activate their plan and immediately begin to find ways to support students.
“It’s a tragedy that you can’t put into words and my heart just breaks for the families, and my heart just breaks for those kids, and my heart breaks for this community and what we’ll do is just love on each other and we’ll get through this,” he said.