The Hamilton Heights School Corporation shared the sad news in a message to families on Saturday. All prom activities have been canceled.
ARCADIA, Ind. – The Hamilton Heights School Corporation was supposed to have a prom on Saturday night. But just before 7 p.m. on Saturday, the school canceled the ball after learning that two high school students had died and two others were injured in an accident on the way to the event.
The students have been confirmed by their respective schools as Kalen Hart, senior from Hamilton Heights, and her companion, Lendon Byram, junior from Cathedral High School.
The names of the other students involved have not been released publicly.
Hamilton Heights Superintendent Derek Arrowood wrote a message to families to share the tragic news on Saturday night:
“We want to share that there was an accident involving Hamilton Heights students on the way to the prom,” said Arrowood. “It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that we have been informed that two students involved in this accident have died from their injuries.”
On Sunday morning, the school sent another message to families to inform them of the bereavement counseling available at the school from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
The cathedral has scheduled a 1 p.m. prayer service on its Indianapolis campus.
The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office said at 5:15 p.m. MPs were alerted to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of 281st Street and Lacy Road.
One of the vehicles was a Honda Accord with four teenagers, including Byram and Hart. The group was on their way to prom in Kokomo when they were boned by an SUV and the two vehicles ended up in a nearby field.
When officers and medics arrived at the crash, they found Byram, who was driving, and Hart, his front passenger, dead at the scene.
The other two Accord passengers were taken to Saint-Vincent Hospital for treatment for non-life threatening injuries.
The person driving the SUV, also unidentified by the authorities, refused medical assistance at the scene.
Investigators told 13News on Saturday night that they did not believe alcohol or drugs contributed to the crash, which is still under investigation.
A tweet from Cathedral High School shared plans for Byram’s prayer meeting on Sunday.
A spokesperson for the school said Byram was from Noblesville. He had just been inducted into the National Honor Society at Cathedral and was planning to enter an international debate competition this summer.
Jacob Cook of Arcadia said he and his family were at a house on the southeast side of the intersection on Saturday to celebrate the life of a deceased family member. He and about 50 other people at the celebration witnessed the crash.
According to Cook, when they heard the crash, they jumped in to help.
“You know, when I got there… one of the vehicles, the driver was already out. So I immediately went to the other vehicle and came over and knew it was serious, ”Cook said.
Cook called 911 and the school to let them know what had happened. Other family members stayed with the two surviving passengers and helped them call their families.
“Just the whole thing where you got ready and where you went to eat and you were just going to love being young and have so much to look forward to.” For it to be cut in such a tragic way. It’s tough, ”Cook said.
“As a father, as a member of the community, as a person who loves where they’re from… something like that, all that matters is these families… you know, parents and just losing life too young, ”Cook said.
“It’s heartbreaking. It’s the worst nightmare, ”Arrowood told WTHR. It is a horrible situation. So what we do in horrible situations is we try to love each other and we try to support each other and we try to make sure that each other’s needs are met to the best of our ability and so on. is absolutely what we are working on now.
Arrowood said all scheduled prom activities have been canceled. The school corporation had bereavement counselors and members of its faith community at the Elite Banquet Center in Kokomo, where the ball was to be held, and at the Hamilton Heights High School Media Center.
“It is heartbreaking to see someone in pain,” said Arrowood. “It’s especially heartbreaking when it’s family members who are suffering and it’s my family. My role is to create opportunities for our students to go out and do great things and now there are students who are doing great things. won’t be able to do these great things and there are students who are touched by this loss. My own kids went here and graduated, so I’m looking at that from a parent’s perspective as well, and as a parent, how could you cope with this heartbreak? So we have to make sure we support these families. ”