Two Lee’s Summit teenagers are dead and a third was in serious condition following a Monday afternoon traffic accident.
Authorities pronounced Nathan Giron, 18, dead at the scene. Courtney Rardin, 18, was pronounced dead at a hospital. Both were passengers in a vehicle driven by Collin Carter, 18, who remained in serious condition Tuesday at a hospital.
Giron and Carter attended Lee’s Summit West High School, according to Lee’s Summit police. Rardin graduated from the school last year.
The accident occurred about 4 p.m. on Southwest Pryor Road south of Longview Road.
According to police, Carter lost control of a 2005 Nissan Sentra while trying to pass another vehicle while heading north on Pryor Road. As Carter was trying to pass, a vehicle appeared heading south on Pryor. That vehicle struck the Nissan Sentra broadside as Carter apparently lost control of the car while attempting to return to his northbound lane, according to police.
The driver of the southbound vehicle was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, police said Tuesday.
After graduating from Lee’s Summit West last year, Rardin, who went by his middle name of Tanner, had been waiting tables, saving money for a possible move to Colorado later this year, said C.J. Rardin, his father.
“He had been out to Denver before and had just fallen in love with it,” C.J. Rardin said. “He just wanted to go out there and explore. The move to Denver was maybe a way for him to find himself and figure out what was the next step.”
His son enjoyed rap music and had many friends, Rardin said.“He was a very respectful, sweet kid, generous and thoughtful,” he said. His son also had two younger sisters and a younger brother.
“He definitely loved being a big brother,” Rardin said.
Additional information about Giron was not available.
Lee’s Summit School District officials on Tuesday activated a “crisis plan,” holding an early-morning staff meeting and bringing in additional counselors to assist students at the school, located at 2600 S.W. Ward Road.
The mood in the halls was somber Tuesday, said Marcus Cox, a Lee’s Summit West student. Usually the hallways are loud during class changes, he said.
“But today it has been very quiet, like a bunch of whispering,” Cox said.
Police investigators closed off Pryor Road Tuesday as they reconstructed the scene, trying to determine what caused the wreck. Skid marks remained visible on the pavement, and some apparent debris from the crash remained at the site.
Any possible charges may be months away, said Sgt. Chris Depue of the Lee’s Summit Police Department.
Although state prosecutors review all fatal crashes, police officers must wait to receive medical reports and other documents before submitting case files, Depue said.
Toriano Porter, a reporter with the Lee’s Summit Journal, contributed to this report.