Small Missouri town heartbroken after 2 teens killed in crash, 3 others injured

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POLO, Mo. — Heartbreak has struck a Missouri town of about 500 people after a crash killed two 14-year-olds and injures three others.

“I almost didn’t believe it because I thought it was like a bad dream type thing,” Red Rooster Cafe employee Meliza Knapp said.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said it happened Sunday just after 7 p.m. near Polo, Missouri.

The group of five was headed east on Southwest Price Drive. Investigators said the driver lost control, sending the vehicle off the gravel road, into a ditch and then airborne through a fence, rolling twice before the car came to a rest on its top.

“When you have anything happen in a small town with even one person things go around and affect people,” Red Rooster Cafe owner Chris Wagner said. “But when there’s four or five people involved with multiple families, somebody’s going to be touched or somebody you know.”

A crash that claims the life of not only one, but two, is a tragedy in any town. In Polo, the people, school and businesses, like the Red Rooster, come together and offer help in the way they know how.

In times like these, Wagner said it’s his job to serve up comfort food.

“I mean I haven’t seen anybody come through here today that hasn’t been talking about it or asked about it,” Wagner said.

Officials said the driver, 19-year-old Harley Sammons, and passenger, 20-year-old Seth Pate, were injured, but survived.

Knapp said they went to her church a couple summers ago.

“And so whenever they came, we had like the best of times like playing games and having a whole bunch of fun,” Knapp said.

She said the news about Sunday’s crash hits close to home. Two years ago her three cousins died in a car crash.

“We were best friends. Like we grew up together, we played together and hung out together,” Knapp said. “It’s kind of hard to lose your best friend in such a manner.”

Knapp has a piece of advice for other grieving families.

“Lean on God,” Knapp said. “If I didn’t have him I don’t think I would’ve made it through losing my three cousins. I hope the families that lost their kids can lean on God.”

FOX4 is told that the third 14-year-old involved in the wreck is still in the hospital with serious injuries.



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