Family, friends of two Lee’s Summit teens killed in car crash struggle with loss

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LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Accident investigators continue to collect reports and evidence in a crash that killed two young men in Lee's Summit Monday afternoon. Police say it could take months before they submit the case file to prosecutors, who will then review it to determine if charges should be filed in the fatal crash.

Police say at about 4:00 p.m., Monday, Collin Carter, 18, was trying to pass another northbound car on the two-laned Pryor Road in Lee's Summit when another car approached from the opposite direction.

According to the police report, a witness says Carter at one point may have been going 80-100 m.p.h. on Pryor Road. The witness told police that Carter attempted to return to his lane, but lost control of the 2005 Nissan Sentra, swerving back and forth in the lane, with the rear of his car apparently 'fishtailing'. The witness said on the final swerve, he skidded sideways into southbound traffic. The oncoming southbound car hit Carter's car at S.W. Pryor Road south of Longview Road, causing significant damage and significant 'intrusion' into the passenger compartment of Carter's vehicle. The impact also caused Carter's car to roll on its top.

The passengers in Carter's car were killed. They were identified as Nathan Giron, 18, who was declared dead at the scene, and Courtney (Tanner) Rardin, 18, who died upon arrival at the hospital.  Rardin, a front-seat passenger, was wearing a seatbelt. Giron was sitting in the back center and was not wearing a seatbelt, according to the police report.

"I feel like I'm in a dream. As my daughter said we just can't make sense of it. You're in a fog. Just hasn't sunk in. I just can't believe that it really happened," said Joyce Smith, Tanner Rardin's grandmother.

Nathan Giron, 18, and Courtney (Tanner) Rardin, 18.
Nathan Giron, 18, and Courtney (Tanner) Rardin, 18.

Smith said her grandson, who graduated from Lee's Summit West High School last year, was on his way to get something to eat with his friends.

"They've been on a restaurant tour. They all had gift cards so almost every day I think they were going someplace different to eat," said Smith.

Nathan Giron was also a senior at Lee's Summit West High School

Carter, also a senior at Lee's Summit West High School, is in the hospital with serious injuries, while the driver of the southbound car was hospitalized with minor injuries.

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