HARRISONVILLE, Mo. -- A school community says its collective hearts are broken, grieving the death of a student walking home from school, who was struck and killed by another student who lost control of his car Tuesday afternoon.
Wednesday morning before school began hundreds of students gathered to remember Corey Turner, 14. Some held hands, others hugged, trying to cope with what happened Tuesday. They'll do so again Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. on the west side of the high school.
The 17-year-old fellow student was driving down Elm Street near Arnold Avenue, just around the corner from the high school. He told friends that the accelerator on his SUV got stuck and he lost control, trying to avoid hitting a parked car. The driver eventually swerved off the right side of the road, over-correcting, hitting Corey Turner and plowing into a house.
"When I found out Corey was dead, I didn't know what to feel at the moment, I was still having a hard time believing that one of my closest friends is just dead," said Garrett Siegenthaler, Corey's friend.
One of Corey's best friends since childhood found out about his death on social media. She was certain it had to be a mistake.
"Yesterday, I rode my bike down to his house to see if he was there. His door was unlocked and I looked all around and he wasn't there so I called his mom and his mom told me he was gone," said Serena Stephens.
"He's so smart and he's so handsome; He's just perfect," said Stephens, who said she can't speak about Corey in past tense. "It doesn't sound right," she said. Stephens says she and Corey have been friends since childhood and says they were as close as some brothers and sisters.
Friends and classmates wore green ribbons to remember Corey, a 14-year-old who loved cars, played tuba and who they say was nice to everyone.
"He never seemed down. He was always happy, excited to do stuff. I have never seen him sad, mad, just only happy," said Sam Newman, another one of Corey's friends.
Grief counselors are on hand at the school to help students and staff cope with the loss.
"It was heart breaking. My heart is still broken. I miss him so much," said Stephens. "He just means so much to me so it`s kind of crazy how all of this happened."
"It makes me a little more cautious every day about surroundings and to know that one of my friends was so young yet just died in such a short time," said Siegenthaler.
Corey's family released the following statement:
We appreciate the outpouring of support and prayers from the community. We are still in shock and our hearts are broken for both our family and Kane’s family because this has catastrophically changed all our lives. Corey was a sweet kid who always had a smile and was always respectful to others. He also wanted everyone to respect each other. This morning at the remembrance ceremony organized by Harrisonville High School students, Corey’s mom told the students to live life to the fullest because tomorrow is not a guaranteed thing. We hope everyone will respect our privacy during this difficult time and give us our time to grieve.