INDIANAPOLIS – Two high school students were on their way to a prom on Saturday night when they were killed in a vehicle crash.
Lendon Byram and Kalen Hart died in the crash, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office said. Byram was driving and Hart was the front passenger, and two other students in the car were injured.
Hart’s Instagram page says she was a member of the 2021 class in Hamilton Heights, where the ball was being held. The small district of northern Hamilton County is about 45 minutes from downtown Indianapolis. Byram was a class of 2022 at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis.
Two other school-aged passengers in the backseat of the car were taken to hospital with non-fatal injuries, according to the sheriff’s office. A driver was in the other car, an SVU, and refused medical treatment at the scene.
Superintendent Derek Arrowood broke the news on the school society’s Facebook page. The district canceled all prom-related activities and said it will have grief counselors at the event venue and at the high school.
“We share our sincere condolences to the families of the students affected by this tragedy,” Arrowood said in a statement released on Saturday evening. keep these families and our students in your thoughts and prayers.
During a Facebook fundraiser seeking $ 15,000, Kalen Hart’s mother, Jody Bartrom Conaway, said she was raising funds to help pay for funeral and burial costs.
“No parent should ever have to bury their child,” she wrote.
In another post, with a photo of Byram and his daughter, Conaway wrote: “This photo was taken at my mom’s retirement party a few weeks ago. I couldn’t even see my baby girl. in her ball gown. I love you so very much, Kalen Rae! I am so proud of the young woman you were becoming. Rest easy my little girl. “
Hart was a senior and was preparing to attend Indiana University at Kokomo, according to social media accounts.
Both schools said bereavement counseling services would be available for students and families.
Indianapolis Cathedral High School posted an article about Byram’s death on its Facebook page early Sunday. “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we share the passing of Lendon Byram ’22,” the school said. “We ask you to please pray for Lendon’s family, friends and all who knew and loved him.”
Grace Trahan-Rodecap, a spokesperson for the school, said Byram was recently inducted into the National Honor Society. He was also a member of the school’s speech and debate team and was scheduled to represent Cathedral and Indiana in the national competition in June in the international improvised speech category.
Hudson Miller, a classmate at Cathedral, posted a moving memory Sunday on Twitter: “Crazy to say how excited you were to go to a prom last week,” Miller wrote. “Our corner of the room will not be the same. Still not settling down with me. Look for us here Lendon.
The cause of the crash is currently under investigation by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Ryan McClain said officers responded to a wreckage of two vehicles at 5:15 p.m. The two students were seated in the front seat of a four-door car and were pronounced dead at the scene. Two other high school age passengers were in the backseat and taken to a local hospital, McClain said.
Follow IndyStar education reporter Arika Herron on Twitter at @ArikaHerron.