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2 Indian River High School students killed in overnight crash

Updated: Jan. 7, 2020 at 5:42 PM EST
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EVANS MILLS, N.Y. (WWNY) - Two Indian River High School students are dead and two other people injured following a one-car crash early Tuesday morning in the town of LeRay.

State police say a 2007 Cadillac sedan was driving south on the Dutch Settlement Road shortly after midnight when it failed to negotiate a curve, went off the road, down an embankment, and struck a tree.

Two rear seat passengers were ejected from the vehicle and killed. Troopers identified them as 17 year Lexie Morgan of Theresa and 16 year old Gabriel Otero of Theresa.

They were pronounced dead at the scene.

High school principal Brian Moore confirmed that two Indian River students died in a car crash overnight, but did not confirm the names.

“As a parent, as principal, this is a message that you never want to send out and it’s a phone call you never want to get. This will undoubtedly be one of the most difficult things our school will have to get though but we will,” he said. " What we have to do is we have to come together because it is the only way we are going to be able to navigate through this for our students, for our families, for our community."

Two front seat occupants were injured. Nineteen year old Kenneth Perez of Evans Mills and 22 year old Christina McKeown of Theresa were both taken to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse for treatment of broken bones. Perez and McKeown were both listed in good condition as of Tuesday afternoon. Troopers said their injuries were not life-threatening.

Kassy Parody is a junior at Indian River, went to school Tuesday morning, learned of the tragic news, called her mom and came home.

“It hits hard because, like, we’re a big school, but we all know of each other and know each other, so it’s really, like sad,” she said.

Police say they have not determined who was driving.

Troopers say speed was a factor and so far they’ve found no evidence alcohol was involved.

Their investigation is continuing.

Theresa Mayor Jonathan Walker issued a statement expressing his condolences and those of the village board.

“As a community, we are deeply saddened and devastated to hear of the tragic passing of two of our village residents,” he said. “We are a very small, tight knit community and the untimely loss of two of our young community members has placed everyone here in a state of shock.”

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