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Support available to students after two students die in crash going to prom

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Posted at 12:53 PM, May 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-02 19:58:06-04

ARCADIA — Grief support is available Sunday after two students died in a crash Saturday evening near Arcadia while they were going to prom.

The students, Lendon Byram and Kalen Hart, were killed in a crash around 5:15 p.m. in Hamilton County, according to the sheriff's office. Two other high school-aged students who were in the car with them were taken to a hospital in Indianapolis with non-life-threatening injuries.

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All scheduled prom activities were canceled Saturday evening and grief counselors and faith-based community members met with students to offer support.

"This is an unimaginable loss for these families and our school community," a statement from the Hamilton Heights School Corporation read.

Hart was a senior at Hamilton Heights High School.

From 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Hamilton Heights school counselors and support staff will be available to meet with students and their families at the high school media center to help them grieve, cope, help with the healing process and provide additional resources, according to the statement from the Hamilton Heights School Corporation.

Byram was a junior at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis.

Counselors and faith-based community members will be at the athletic/football practice field starting at 1 p.m. Sunday to gather, grieve and pray with students.

Hamilton Heights High School will follow a regular class schedule on Monday. Extra staff will be available to students throughout the day. Students who are on the virtual learning schedule can contact the guidance office or come to the school for any needed support.

You can read the full statement from the Hamilton Heights School Corporation below.

We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own, senior Kalen Hart, and her prom date, Lendon Byram, due to injuries sustained in a traffic accident yesterday. This is an unimaginable loss for these families and our school community.

Our focus right now, as a district, is to provide support to students, staff members, and families during the difficult days and weeks ahead. School counselors and support staff will be available to meet with students and their families this afternoon between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. at the high school media center to help with the grief, coping, and the healing process, as well as provide additional resources.

When we return to school tomorrow, we will follow the regular class schedule with extra staff available throughout the day to help students during this difficult time. For students on the virtual schedule, please do not hesitate to contact the guidance office or come into the school for needed support.

Meanwhile, we encourage our families to stay close, connected, and to be aware of the signs of grief, which can produce an array of painful feelings, emotions, and/or behaviors. Grief is personal and everyone experiences and processes loss and trauma differently. Should you or your children need extra support in coping with this tragic event, please do not hesitate to reach out to our school counselors, or to the many resources available in the community. Students may also use the school’s Quick Tip link if they are struggling. A link to helpful information for parents or other caregivers from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) was shared with parents.

Our thoughts and sympathies are with the families and friends of these young students.

WRTV is working to learn more about Lendon Byram and Kalen Hart. If you have a memory or photos you would like to share, you can email us at news@wrtv.com or message us on Facebook or Twitter.