Authorities said that six high school students were killed in an accident with a semitruck in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol stated Wednesday that the students were riding in a small car with only four seats. Only the driver and passenger were wearing their seat belts. According to the OHP, the Chevy Spark was turning left from a stop sign and collided with a Peterbilt truck for rock hauling.
The vehicle, which was subcompact in size, crashed into the intersection 100 feet away.
“We don’t know the full nature or details of what caused the crash, only that the car at some point was at this stop sign and that in the following moments the semi hit them,”According to the OHP “When we got to the scene you could see the car about 100 feet or so from the intersection completely totaled.”
The car’s roof and doors were torn off.
“We’re not sure how much of that was caused by the crash or by emergency responders but the scene was heartbreaking,”The highway patrol stated.
Tishomingo Public School Superintendent Bobby Waitman said the district had sustained “a great loss,” in a Facebook post following Tuesday’s crash. “Our hearts are broken, and we are grieving with our students and staff,” Waitman said.
Gov. Kevin Stitt expressed his condolences to girls’ families during a stop in Kingston to witness tornado damage.
“We just heard about the tragic loss of six teenagers, still getting details, going to be reaching out to the superintendent. Our hearts are broken with those six families. Just devastating news,” Stitt said.
The driver of the truck was not injured. He was identified as 51-year-old Valendon Burton of Burneyville, Oklahoma, the highway patrol said Wednesday. An investigation of the crash is ongoing, the department said.
The victims were the 16-year-old driver, three 15-year-olds and two 17-year-old passengers, the highway patrol said. Their names were not released because they were juveniles.
Tishomingo is a small rural town about 120 miles south of Oklahoma City. Classes were in session Wednesday at the high school, with administrators and counselors focused on the emotional well-being of students, the district superintendent said.
Meanwhile, the city of 3,000 mourns.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and community. This is a terrible tragedy that will continue to affect our lives for many years.” the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office said. “These families and the community need our prayers and support at this difficult time.