A Harrisonville High School student walking away from school died after being struck by a vehicle Tuesday.
Corey Turner, 14, was a freshman at the high school. He was walking west on the sidewalk along East Elm Street when a swerving vehicle struck him.
The identity of the driver has not been released by the Harrisonville Police Department, which is assisting with an investigation by the Missouri Highway Patrol.
Lt. Chris Osterberg, an investigator with Harrisonville police, said the driver is 17 years old and also a student at the school. The driver, who was also heading west on Elm Street, swerved near the intersection at North Halsey Avenue. When the driver attempted to re-enter the roadway, he struck Corey, Osterberg said.
The vehicle then crashed into the front of a home, causing damage.
Corey was rushed by ambulance to Cass Regional Medical Hospital, but he was later pronounced dead.
The driver and the resident of the home were both uninjured.
Osterberg said the driver was questioned before being released to his parents.
Sgt. Collin Stosberg, a spokesman for the patrol, said there was no evidence that drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.
He added that the reconstruction investigation, which includes witness interviews and analysis to determine vehicle speed at the time of a crash, would not be finalized for about a month.
A resident in the neighborhood said he has asked local elected officials to consider placing stop signs on Elm at the Halsey intersection, near where the driver swerved off the road.
“When they (high school students) come through here, it’s like a drag strip,” Gary Johnson said.
Osterberg said the police department typically assigns five officers to patrol the city specifically to counter speeding after school is let out each day. On Tuesday, three officers were out on patrol.
“We have speeding issues in general when school lets out,” Osterberg said.
As news spread of Corey’s death at the high school, located only a few blocks from the site of the crash, several students in the stands and on the gym floor for a volleyball game began to cry.
Karley Reynolds, a freshman at the school, was shocked by Corey’s death.
“It’s unimaginable. It’s just an ordinary day, and then something like this happened,” she said.
But she said she’d remember Corey for his jocular personality.
“Even in the most awkward times, he’d always make jokes,” Karley said. “He’d really make us laugh if we were ever in a sad situation.”
Another freshman classmate, Joey Lasure, said he played soccer with Corey.
“He was into country music,” Joey said, “and he liked to hunt.”
Joey added that as a member of the cross-country team, he’s felt unsafe when running on Price Street near the high school.
“Cars will drive past, and I’ll get a little uneasy,” Joey said.
The Harrisonville school district announced that extra counselors will be available to students and staff at the middle school and high school in the coming days.