Shawnee Mission East High School students approached Principal John McKinney Tuesday morning, filled with sorrow, and hoping to find a way to cope with the impending death of a friend.
The news that the family of Alex Carney was preparing for his death has filled everyone with sadness, the principal said.
The students determined that they would hold a vigil for the community to come together Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Loose Park, 5200 Wornall Road.
“They want to support one another, be with one another, and make sure the Carney family knows how much they loved Alex,” McKinney said.
The teen was one of three schoolmates who were involved in a high-speed crash in Prairie Village last week.
Carney, a sophomore, went into a coma after the crash and suffered brain damage too severe to survive, a spokesman for his family reported on CaringBridge.org.
Carney was a passenger in a car that lost control and crashed into a tree on Cherokee Drive near West 71st Street about 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 7.
Another passenger, sophomore Alex Rutiaga, suffered serious injuries but is expected to survive, McKinney said Tuesday.
The driver of the car, sophomore Drew Welch, was not seriously injured.
A second car had minor damage and its adult driver was not injured.
The crash remains under investigation, Prairie Village Police Sgt. Eric McCullough said this week. Both cars involved in the crash were traveling west on Cherokee, and “speed was a factor” in the severity of the crash, he said.
The school and its community is suffering for all three of the families, McKinney said.
“Three families are devastated by this horrible accident,” he said. “We are trying as a school community to show love.”
Wednesday, 6 p.m., Loose Park, 5200 Wornall Road