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Family remembers Lenexa teen, talks about his legacy

Posted at 5:12 PM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 18:45:52-04

LENEXA, Kan. -- A deadly crash that took the life of a 17-year-old Lenexa teen came as a shock to his family, but they’re turning the accident into a chance to help him leave a legacy.

On Thursday, Olathe Northwest High School senior Landon Daniel was driving on K-10 near Ridgeview around 10 in the morning when traffic came to a halt. The Kansas Highway Patrol says there were three cars involved in the wreck, and Daniel did not make it.

Landon’s father Cary Daniel said they are trying to take it all in a positive way, making sure to celebrate his life.

He reminisced on one of the last meaningful conversations they had before the accident. Daniel said they shared a special connection where they could have deep talks about spirit, life, and the future.

He showed Landon a video by Tom Bilyeu about success and how to get there.

“You want to be great, you want to be legendary? You want to be bigger than life? Are you ready,” Daniel explained was the message behind the video.

Daniel said his son responded by saying, “I like that guy.”

Later, Daniel bought them matching shirts as a reminder that said, “Be legendary.”

He and his wife Lee Ann explained their son was in the E-Commerce Media program at Olathe Northwest.

School videos showed Landon opening up the ONWHS’ Raven Roundup dressed as Devonte Graham and his hero, LeBron James.  

Landon wanted to attend the University of Kansas’ William Allen White School of Journalism.  

“Since he was a toddler, everything he wore was KU. His entire room was KU,” explained Daniel.

Landon’s ambition was to become a sports broadcaster on ESPN.

“He wanted to be like the king, like LeBron James. Bigger than life,” said Lee Ann Daniel, who also said her son always had a smile, unless he was grounded.

She said there were many pick-up basketball games in their driveway. 

“He would start talking trash, I would start talking trash. Someone would always go inside – it got out of control,” laughed Carson Daniel, Landon’s older brother.  

He said his brother would always try to rap to a beat in the car, even if it was over music with words.

As part of a testament to who Landon was, his family said they started the Landon Daniel Memorial Scholarship on GoFundMe.

It started with a goal of just $1,000. After the generosity of friends and family, that was far surpassed. The total is now more than $37,000 and counting.  

“It shows there is goodness in this world and compassion in this world. And that people care about people,” explained Lee Ann Daniel.

That money will be divided up among Landon’s graduating classmates at ONWHS who are going to the University of Kansas.

Lee Ann Daniel said when she took her son to get a driver’s license, he opted to be an organ donor. His organs went on to help five people live more full lives.

“His soul got him to that point. Right now, he is legendary and he is the king. He's been able to raise all this money to impact all these people,” said Lee Ann Daniel.

Olathe Schools has offered counselors for anyone who needs to speak to someone about the accident.