What was supposed to be a jubilant rite of passage was replaced by grief and tragedy in Indiana on Saturday.
Two high school students died in a car crash on their way to the prom, Hamilton County sheriff’s spokesperson Ryan McClain said.
The crash happened around 5:15 p.m. in Arcadia, about 40 miles north of Indianapolis. When officers arrived, both students were found deceased.
The Hamilton Heights School Corporation identified them as Hamilton Heights High School senior Kalen Hart and her prom date, Lendon Byram.
Byram was a student at Cathedral High School, the Indianapolis private school said.
Two other students were in the car with Hart and Byram but suffered non-life threatening injuries.
The driver of another vehicle involved in the crash was also a high school student but declined medical attention, McClain said.
The cause of the crash is under investigation. There were no immediate signs that drugs or alcohol were involved, McClain said.
All Hamilton Heights prom activities were canceled due to the news.
“It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that we have been informed that two students involved in this accident died from their injuries,” HHSC posted on Facebook Saturday evening. “At this time all scheduled prom activities will be canceled.”
Cathedral High School also had counselors available for grieving students.
“Grief is personal and everyone experiences and processes loss and trauma differently,” the HHSC said. “This is an unimaginable loss for these families and our school community.”