HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. — Two Indiana high school students died in a car wreck while on their way to prom this weekend, officials said.
The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the deadly crash that also injured two others.
The crash happened around 5:15 p.m. Saturday in the area of Lacy Road and 281st Street in Hamilton County and involved two vehicles, officials said.
According to police, all four victims were in the same vehicle on their way to Hamilton Heights High School prom when the crash occurred.
Police released the names of the deceased high school students as Lendon Byram and Kalen Hart, who investigators said were in the driver and front passenger seats of the vehicle.
Early Sunday morning, Cathedral High School in Indianapolis confirmed via Facebook that Byram was a student in the class of 2022. The school offered its support for his family and friends.
The two other injured students were transported to a hospital in Indianapolis with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be a factor in the crash and the cause remained under investigation Sunday, police said.
Superintendent Derek Arrowood, with the Hamilton Heights School Corporation, said Saturday’s prom was set to be held at the Elite Banquet Center in Kokomo.
Upon learning of the crash, Arrowood said all prom-related activities were canceled, and the district quickly notified families and set up a crisis support team of grief counselors at both the banquet center and Hamilton Heights High School Media Center.
“We share our heartfelt condolences to the families of the students impacted by this tragedy,” Arrowood said. “No one expects something like this to happen, and when it does, it leaves an entire community grieving. Please keep these families and our students in your thoughts and prayers.”
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,” Arrowood said.
The superintendent added that the district has prepared plans in place for such a situation, in the event they are ever needed. He said although they hoped to never use them, they were able to activate their plan Saturday 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.