A vehicle said by authorities to have been traveling at a high rate of speed on a side road off U.S. Highway 36 crashed into a ditch on early Sunday morning, killing one of the five teenage occupants, all of whom are from Hiawatha.
The Kansas Highway Patrol announced in an online crash report that Andrew O. Creek, 17, driver of the 2010 Toyota Corolla, experienced a loss of control at the wheel along Horned Owl Road, west of Hiawatha. According to the crash report, Ian M. Miller, 16, of Hiawatha, died as a result of injuries suffered in the crash.
Gabriel Corbett, 18, and Navaeh Dismang, 15, along with Creek, are receiving care for suspected serious injuries at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, following transport there by medical helicopter. First responders transported Andrew T. Woods, 19, to Hiawatha Community Hospital for treatment of suspected minor injuries. The medical condition of Corbett, Creek and Dismang at KU Med hadn't yet been announced as of Noon on Sunday.
The Highway Patrol said the Corolla is believed to have exited the roadway to the left while heading northbound as the road jogged to the east abruptly, before it entered a ditch, and went airborne. It rotated in the air above U.S. Highway 36, before landing on its top in a ditch against an embankment on the north side of the highway. Horned Owl Road curves sharply before it merges into U.S. Highway 36 near mile marker 348.
In the wake of Miller's death, Hiawatha Public Schools USD 415 cancelled a school play, "The Trials of Robin Hood," that had been scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, and announced that Hiawatha High School was to be open from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday so that counselors, social workers, district administrators and staff would be able to console students and members of the community who knew Miller. School resumed as normal on Monday, but counselors remained available for students and staff.
"The entire USD 415 Family is deeply saddened by the death of one of our students," a district representative said in a social media announcement. "We ask for your prayers and thoughts for the family of Ian Miller, and for the other victims of the tragedy. Our staff is working to ensure all of our students have access to support during this difficult time."
According to the Highway Patrol, of the five occupants, only Woods had been wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.