Principal And Cheerleaders React To Fatal Crash

By: Ariana Cohen/Justin Surrency / Sarah Plake /Greg Palmer Email
By: Ariana Cohen/Justin Surrency / Sarah Plake /Greg Palmer Email
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Principal Ron Vinduska says many Seaman High School students were still in a state of shock Monday.

"It's a lot quieter, a lot of students are just quiet," he said.

Sunday night, 15-year-old Seaman sophomore Alayna Hutchison was driving a car southbound on northwest Rochester Road, "a road that many of our students drive daily," said Vinduska.

16-year-old Seaman High school golf team member Jalen Heald was in the passenger seat.

Shortly after 8 p.m., police say Alayna's car skidded off the roadway, hit a tree and burst into flames.

"A contributive factor to this accident is excessive speed," said a police officer.

Vinduska told 13 News a Seaman High School Senior who witnessed the crash helped Jalen get out of the car. He was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries.

Alayna died at the scene. 13 News has not been able to get a condition report on Jalen.

"I feel tremendously sorry for the students that knew her. I can't imagine what the parents are going through. It's just so tragic, a young life had to be forfeited so early. You know, these were great kids," said Vin Duska.

Police told 13 News neither of the teens was wearing a seatbelt but that if the car had not hit the tree, it might have stopped in an open field.

Seaman High School's cheerleaders recall their last visit with 15-year-old Alayna Hutchison as they left a team meeting Sunday night.

"After the cheer meeting, we were talking in the parking lot about our plans," said Alayna's cheerleading teammate, Cheyann Boucher.

A few hours later, they would get devastating news.

"My phone was blown up with text messages and I didn't want to believe it," said Alayna's cheerleading teammate, Samantha Root.

"I just didn't think it was true. I was in shock," said Cheyann.

Alayna's cheerleading teammates say going to school Monday didn't feel the same.

"It was very hard walking the hallways not seeing her just broke my heart, like during passing period, I looked and said 'where is she at?' and when I passed her locker seeing her name, it really hurt just knowing she is not in our lives anymore," said Samantha.

They want her to be remembered as an outgoing girl who lived everyday to its fullest.

"She was really bubbly and confident," said another teammate of hers, Kelcie Radford.

"She always had a smile on her face," Cheyann said.

"I can speak for the whole cheer squad and say she was more than a friend, she was our sister and that' a bond that no one can take away from us," said Alayna's cheerleading teammate, Marissa Blassingame.

Authorities have announced the names of the two Topeka teens involved in a deadly Sunday night crash that killed the driver and sent the passenger to an area hospital in serious condition,

The driver was identified as 15 year-old Alayna L. Hutchison, of Topeka. Hutchinson was dead by the time emergency crews arrived, police said. Sixteen year-old Jalen B. Heald, of Topeka was taken to Stormont Vail with serious injuries.

Both teens were students at Seaman High School

Authorities said neighbors near the 5200 block of NW Rochester Road called in the crash shortly after 8:00 p.m. Sunday night.

The Shawnee County Sheriff's Office says that the four-door car was heading South on N.W. Rochester Rd. when it left the roadway, hit a tree and burst into flames.

Preliminary investigation indicates that speed may have been a contributing factor to the crash. Neither of them were reportedly wearing seat belts.

The accident is still under investigation

Posted by Greg Palmer


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