2 high schoolers on way to prom killed in crash with another student

Published: May. 2, 2021 at 11:14 PM MDT
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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (WTHR) - An Indiana high school prom was canceled after two students died on the way to the dance in a car crash with another teen headed there.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office says a car with four teens was headed to prom Saturday night around 5:15 p.m. when they were T-boned at an intersection. The driver and front passenger were killed, and the two in the backseat were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

According to a witness, the driver of the other car was another teen heading to prom.

The teens who died were later identified as Kalen Hart, an 18-year-old senior at Hamilton Heights High School, and her date, Lendon Byram, a junior at Cathedral High School. They had been dating since the beginning of the year.

Jacob Cook and his family were at a celebration of life for a family member when they witnessed the crash. They jumped in to help as best they could, calling 911 and the survivors’ families.

“All that matters is just those families and, you know, the parents and just losing life way too young,” Cook said.

Following the crash, the Hamilton Heights School District canceled all prom activities for the night and offered grief counselors at the high school and the banquet hall in Kokomo, where the prom was supposed to take place.

“It’s a horrible situation, so what we do in horrible situations is we try to love each other, support each other and make sure everybody’s needs are being met to the best of our abilities. That’s absolutely what we are embarking on now,” said Hamilton Heights Superintendent Derek Arrowood.

The school system will have grief counselors available again Monday and into the next week.

Investigators do not believe drugs or alcohol were involved in the fatal crash.

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