WELLS COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Two teenagers died in a crash near Markle Tuesday evening, according to the Wells County Sheriff’s Department. Officials say both were students at Norwell High School.
Police were dispatched to the 1500 block of County Road 900 North around 5 p.m.
Investigators said 19-year-old Andrew Serafini, Ossian, was traveling west in an 2006 Chevy Equinox with three other passengers:
- Abbagail Harris, 19, was sitting in the rear seat on the drivers side
- Johnny Kidwell, 18, was sitting in the rear seat on the passengers side
- James McCune, 17, was sitting in the front passengers seat
Police say Serafini’s SUV began to hydroplane on water, he overcorrected the vehicle, crossed the center line, and hit a tree on the passengers side of the vehicle.
Law enforcement and school officials confirmed Kidwell and McCune died in the crash. Both were juniors at Norwell High School. Officials say Serafini and Harris were both sent to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Police said alcohol might have been a factor in the crash. Officers are working to find out how fast the SUV was traveling at the time of the accident.
Scott Mills, Superintendent of Northern Wells Community Schools, said students organized a prayer vigil before school Wednesday morning. Counselors and clergy have also been made available for students.
The crash remains under investigation.
Superintendent of Northern Wells Community Schools Scott A. Mills released this statement Wednesday following the death of the two students:
Norwell High School and the entire Northern Wells Community Schools Family mourn the death of two of its students in a tragic automobile accident on Tuesday, October 14, 2014. Our thoughts and prayers go to out to the family of Johnny Kidwell and James McCune as we join them in grieving for their tremendous loss.
The days ahead will be difficult as the impact of Johnny and James passing sinks into reality. Northern Wells asks that you keep these families in your prayers as well as the other two former students involved, their families, and everyone else impacted
by this horrible and untimely event.
Local clergy and grief counselors have been called in to provide support for the students and staff at Norwell High School, Wells County Alternative School, and Norwell Middle School. Parents are encouraged to contact the school if they feel their child(ren) need for a counselor to speak with them.