HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. — Indiana’s Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a deadly crash that claimed two students lives and injured two others.
The department said the crash happened around 5:15 p.m. in the area of Lacy Road and 281st Street in Hamilton County and involved two vehicles.
According to police, all deceased and injured were traveling within the same vehicle on their way to Hamilton Heights High School prom when the accident occurred.
Police released the names of the deceased high school students as Lendon Byram and Kalen Hart, who investigators say were both driver and front seat passenger of the vehicle.
Early Sunday morning, Cathedral High School in Indianapolis confirmed via Facebook that Byram is a student in the class of 2022 and offered its support for his family, friends, and all who knew and loved him.
The two other injured students were transported to a hospital in Indianapolis with non-life-threatening injuries, police confirm.
Police say at this time drugs and alcohol are not believed to be a factor in the crash and the cause remains under investigation.
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 accident, Arrowood said all prom-related activities were canceled, and the district quickly notified families and set up a crisis support team of grief counselors, available 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,” said Superintendent Dr. Derek Arrowood, Hamilton Heights School Corporation.
“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,” 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.