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'She was my miracle baby': Mother remembers teens killed in crash while heading to prom

Crash kills two teens heading to Hamilton Heights prom
Posted at 8:05 PM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 20:08:44-04

HAMILTON COUNTY — What was supposed to be a night filled with some of the greatest memories to last a lifetime, ended up being a tragic nightmare.

Saturday, as students were on their way to the Hamilton Heights High School prom, a crash in northern Hamilton County left two teens dead.

For many of us, we either dreamed about and or attended a prom. No matter how you put it, most teens across this country look forward to prom season every year. Similar to Saturday night, as Lendon Byram and Kalen Hart prepared for their prom at Hamilton Heights expecting to experience the night of a lifetime. Unfortunately, that's not what happened.

"She was a miracle baby. I wasn't supposed to be able to have any more children,” Jody Conaway, mother of Kalen Hart, said.

A miracle indeed, the youngest child of Conaway, with so much life ahead of her as she was preparing to graduate from Hamilton Heights High School, this month.

"But she thrived, and she was so smart," Conaway said.

Kalen's sister, Bailey Burnworth said she was looking forward to prom.

"She was looking forward to it because she couldn't do it last year because of COVID. So, this was her year,” Burnworth said.

Conaway said Kalen and her friend who was also in the car at the time of the crash, left early that morning to get ready. Once they were all dressed, they went to take pictures, and then stopped by Kalen’s father's house before heading to her mother’s house.

“We were starting to get worried because too much time had elapsed from the time, she had left his house and she wasn't at my house. And her dad called and broke the news that Kalen had passed away," Conaway said.

Kalen and her date Lendon Byram, a junior at Cathedral High School, both died in that crash.

Hamilton County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan McClain said the car Kalen and Lendon were in was hit on the driver’s side and because it happened with no witnesses around, he said it will take some time for them to determine what happened. The driver of the other vehicle, McClain, says was also on their way to prom.

Conaway said this is grief that is hard to explain and wants to send Lendon's family this message through tears.

“I just want to say Summer and Rick to know that Lendon was a great kid," Conway said. "He was so sweet and so respectful. I really felt like he was one of the best things that ever happened to Kalen for a while."

WRTV reached out to Lendon's family for comment. This is still difficult for them and they were not ready to speak.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office will not release the identities of the others involved because they are underage.

Kalen's funeral is set for 1 p.m. Friday. With a visitation Thursday from 4-8 p.m. at Randall and Roberts funeral center on Westfield Road in Noblesville.