Parents devastated after losing their two children in head-on crash in Cass County

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CASS COUNTY, Mo. — The unimaginable happened to the Yates family on Tuesday.

Sixteen-year-old Tommy Yates and 12-year-old Jenna Yates were killed on U.S. 58 Highway near Strasburg, Missouri.

“You just never expect to be burying your babies. You can never prepare yourself for this,” Tommy and Jenna’s mother, Kara Yates, said with tears in her eyes.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s crash report, Tommy veered off the road, over-corrected his vehicle, crossed the center line and hit another vehicle before going off the road.

His parents said he just got his driver’s license in December.

“We thought it was a good practice for him because it was daytime, close. I mean he was a fresh driver, but it was 5 miles down the road,” Tommy and Jenna’s father, Ernest Yates, said in an emotional interview.

Tommy was a sophomore at Lone Jack High School; Jenna was a sixth grader at Strasburg’s K-8 school. Both loved sports.

“Tommy played football, baseball, basketball. Jenna was into basketball. She was starting volleyball for the first time. She did boxing, softball,” Ernest said.

Tommy and Jenna will also be remembered for their big hearts. Their classmates at school are starting memorials in their honors.

Two lives gone too soon.

“I know it’s every mothers’ greatest fear when they have children, it is. I just never thought it’d be both of them,” Kara said.

Funeral arrangements have not been made yet.

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