Lee’s Summit mom clings to final memory of her son who was killed with another teen in KC crash

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LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Two Lee’s Summit families are heartbroken, as they prepare funeral arrangements for their teenage sons who were killed in a weekend car crash.

Kansas City police identified the victims as Kaeden Hernandez, 18, and Zach Meyer, 18.


Kaeden was a senior at Lee’s Summit West High School, while Zach was a junior at Lee’s Summit North High School.

Police said the two teens, along with a third young man, were riding in a car along Prospect Avenue and 73rd Street on Kansas City’s Southside Saturday. Witnesses told investigators they were speeding when for some reason, the driver lost control.

Their car careened off the road and crashed into a utility pole. The impact killed Hernandez and Meyer, and sent the third person to the hospital in critical condition.

“I`m going to miss him, all of him,” said Alissa Meyer, Zach’s mother. “He was special. He was the light of my life.”

Meyer fought back tears, as she talked exclusively with FOX 4 about her sudden loss.

“I’m heartbroken,” she said. “This has been tragic for all of us. He was such a light and a wonderful soul, a great part of our family.”

The tragedy has hit Meyer’s family hard, especially for Zach's older brother, Destin.

“I feel like a piece of me is gone,” Destin said. “I mean, my life, I spent with him, 20 years and he`s gone… He was the greatest kid I’ve ever known. I loved him.”

Kaeden's family politely declined an interview with FOX 4, but shared several photos and memories of him.

His father, Michael, said Kaeden loved to laugh and had an “infectious smile that lit up every room.” Kaeden was also “giving, loving and accepting of everyone.”

Both boys were also big sports fans who, in the past, played football at their respective schools. Kaeden was a dedicated K-State and Indianapolis Colts fan.

As for Zach’s mom, she said there is no way to prepare for the sudden loss of your child.

“I was looking forward to him finding the love of his life,” she said, “and going to college and getting married and starting a family, and I was just so excited for him.”

Two young lives cut short – by one tragedy that's shaken these families to their cores.

“He gave me a hug and told me he loved me,” Meyer said of the last time she saw Zach. “That`s my last moments with him, and I will keep that with me for the rest of my life.”

A Celebration of Life Service for Kaeden will be on Friday, Jan. 27, at 11 a.m. at Evangel Church, 1414 E. 103rd Street, Kansas City, Mo. There will not be a visitation or gravesite/burial service. Everyone who knew Kaeden is invited to attend.

Zach’s visitation will begin Friday at 1 p.m. at Legacy Christian Church, 2150 E. Langsford Road, Lee’s Summit, Mo. His funeral will be immediately afterward, starting around 2 p.m.

Zach’s family is asking for the community’s help paying for burial costs. Click here if you would like to donate.