Two Lakeville South High School students were killed in a single-vehicle crash near the school shortly after classes were dismissed Friday afternoon, officials said.
The victims were part of a foursome of teenage boys who were in a pickup that rolled over at 225th Street west of Dodd Boulevard just before 3 p.m., authorities said.
Passengers Jake Flynn, 17, and Johnny Price, 18, died after being ejected from the vehicle. Two other teens, one of whom was found wandering dazed nearby, were hurt, but are expected to recover.
The boy found walking near the site was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis by ambulance, and the fourth teen, found in the vehicle, was airlifted there.
The survivors, seniors Alex Hughes and Mason Kohlbeck, are on the varsity football team, head coach Larry Thompson said. Hughes is in HCMC’s intensive-care unit in serious but stable condition with a fractured skull and broken cheekbone, he said.
One of the surviving teens was driving the pickup, but authorities did not say whether it was Hughes or Kohlbeck. Thompson said that both of the survivors were wearing seat belts. Authorities did not release any information about seat belts.
There were no witnesses to the crash and its cause is still unknown, said Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie.
“This is an extremely difficult time for the district and the Lakeville Area community,” a statement from the school read. “We will be providing support and counselors as long as needed.” The school provided grief counselors in its auditorium Friday evening.
Lakeville South canceled all after-school activities Friday, including a varsity boys basketball game against Wayzata and a girls basketball game at home against Minneapolis Washburn. Weekend activities also were canceled.
Lakeville North will still hold events Saturday, “but students who do not feel able to take part will be excused,” said Amy Olson, a school district spokeswoman.
Flynn, a junior, and Price, a senior, were star athletes at the school and poised for college scholarships, Thompson said. Flynn, recently voted varsity football captain by his teammates, was in the weight room Friday before school, the coach said. “He’d always have a big smile on his face. He was a fine young man.”
Price had played for Thompson for two years and also was a talented baseball player for Lakeville South, as well as a member of the Minnesota Blizzard Elite, a traveling baseball league.
Thompson described both young men as dedicated and personable. “It’s a true loss for our school and our program,” he said. “Our hearts go out to their families.”
Students from both Lakeville high schools joined prayer groups in South’s auditorium Friday, sharing stories about the boys.
Lakeville Mayor Matt Little shared his grief on Twitter upon hearing the news.
“I’m so sad and upset. There is no fairness in this,” he wrote. “Please, if you can find your strength, use it to support their friends and family.”
Reached by phone, Little said he believed the students had just left school at the time of the crash. “[It’s] one of those things where you feel pretty helpless,” he said.