Two vehicles collided Monday afternoon on Pryor Road, killing two passengers and leaving the driver of one in serious condition.
According to Lee's Summit police, the collision occurred when a vehicle driving northbound attempted to pass another. The driver then swerved to avoid the second vehicle, driving southbound, and lost control; the first skidded and was struck broadside by the second.
Two passengers inside the northbound vehicle, 18-year-old Nathan Giron and and 18-year-old Courtney Rardin, were killed in the collision. The driver, 18-year-old Collin Carter, has been hospitalized and is reportedly in serious condition. Police say Rardin graduated from Lee's Summit West High School last year and Giron and Carter are seniors at the school.
The driver of the second vehicle, which had no passengers, has minor injuries. He has been identified as 60-year-old David Lartey.
Hayley Lewis found out by a knock on the door that her son, Rardin, had died. "I mean, I've lost a grandparent but it's their time. I've never lost a friend, and for me to lose my best friend and my child... I don't know what to do," Lewis said.
Rardin went by his middle name, Tanner. He wanted to move to Denver with friends because he loved the outdoors and recently decided to get his pilot license. His 13-year-old sister "adores him. They've never fought," Lewis said. "She's still just eighth grade and she counts on him."
Lee's Summit West High School was solemn on Tuesday; many students struggling to grasp the loss. Christina Kitavarada said Giron was "super funny, always there for everyone, always making everyone laugh, he's just that type of kid that everyone was always used to seeing and being around with."
Theoplis Johnson added, "Everybody was like, we all knew what happened, it was just like, no one really knew how to speak on it, so we are just going to try to do the best we can to remember them."
Josh Briggs said, "You could just tell by not even anybody saying anything, you could just tell on their faces, people in the halls, people had to step out, I was one too, I had to step out. You can't really concentrate on school. It's just like, it just hits you, it's the only thing on your mind."
Lewis says she's not moving on. She still can't believe her son is gone.
"Nobody knows what to say, because there's nothing to say," Lewis emphasized.
A visitation will be held for Rardin at:
Speaks Funeral Home
Thursday Feb. 4
5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
18020 East 39th Street
The funeral for Giron will be held on Friday.