MOORE — Police are investigating the death of a high school student in a fatal car crash Thursday, the latest in a string of tragedies in the community over the past decade.
The collision occurred around noon Thursday near the intersection of SW 134 and Pennsylvania Avenue. Three vehicles — two pickup trucks and a sedan — were traveling east when the crash occurred, police said. At least one truck hit a tree.
“One car was in the left lane, one car was in the right lane, and the other car was turning left in front of them,” Sgt. Gary Knight of the Oklahoma City Police Department. One of the drivers “didn’t leave enough stopping distance for the car that was turning left in front of them, so he tried to turn, and that’s when he not only hit the car, he hit him into the car.” The car in the car was next to him.”
One of the trucks was carrying five passengers, including 15-year-old Colby McAllen, who was pronounced dead at the scene after emergency teams responded, Knight said. McCarron was wearing a seatbelt at the time, according to police.
Police declined to name the other people involved in the collision, citing minors, but said four other passengers were rushed to hospital, three of them in critical condition.
No one was injured in the other two vehicles, Knight said.
more:One dead, three injured in South End accident involving Westmore student
“Our hearts ache as we process the news of the loss of Westmoore High School sophomore Colby McCarron, and our sincerest condolences to the McCarron family,” Moore Public Schools Superintendent Robert Romines said in a statement Friday. “Five other sophomores were involved in the accident, four of whom are hospitalized at this time. Please keep our students and their families in your thoughts and prayers.”
Jeremy Moses, a weatherman for Mesohunt, Moore, lives in an apartment complex near the school. In a Facebook post on Friday morning, he said his prayers were with the families of the victims and students at Westmoore.
“I had to go to the back of the house last night because I live so close to the school,” Moses wrote Friday. “I stopped where I saw the building and prayed aloud. The children are praying – they will be safe and hopefully they will get through the day and be able to focus on their work. … Most importantly, my prayers are with the families of all involved that they may find comfort.”
Moses also pointed to the tragic timing of the accident, which occurred at the same time as students and staff were processing final exams before recess for recess.
“It’s so close to Christmas,” Moses said. “Sadly, one family has gifts that their children will never open. Dreams that will never come true. A home that will never be the same. Three other families whose children will be recovering for a long time to come.”
Moore Public Schools has had several tragic incidents in recent years. In May 2013, a devastating tornado hit Plaza Towers Elementary School, killing seven children. In February 2020, three Moore High School students were killed and four others were injured after a truck drove over a group of cross-country runners.
Most recently, in May 2022, 17-year-old Westmore High School student Colby Dutton died while riding a motorcycle near SW 107 and West Main Street.
“It’s hard because the scary emotions come back and forth,” said Kristy Hernandez, the district’s director of student services. “Frankly, I think that’s the hardest part.”
Hernandez deployed the district’s mental health team of 14 therapists to Westmore High School immediately after receiving word of the fatal crash. By the time Hernandez left school Friday afternoon, each therapist was still counseling one student.
“I feel very lucky that we have the Moore team on site,” Hernandez said. “They feel like part of the family, so I think it’s easier to meet our needs for students that way.”
Oklahoma City Police Capt. Valerie Littlejohn, a Westmore High alumnus, said the investigation will take several weeks to complete before the results are submitted to the district attorney’s office.
“It’s close to home, growing up there,” says John Jr. “I also have a couple of friends who live in the area and their kids have gone to Westmoore now. It’s been horrible, even (at the department) when we got a call saying something horrible had happened, my mind started racing , wondering if this is the child of someone I know. Always heartbreaking.”
Contribution: Staff Writer Jack Money