Six high school students were killed in an accident Tuesday when the vehicle they were sitting in collided with a semi-truck in Tishomingo, Okla., A rural town about 120 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, authorities said.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol did not immediately release the names of the students, but they were all girls and in “the little passenger vehicle,” Sarah Stewart, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in an email.
The driver of the truck’s condition was not immediately known. The accident, which is under investigation, took place at the intersection of US Highway 377 and State Highway 22 around 12:30 p.m., Stewart said.
Bobby Waitman, superintendent of Tishomingo Public Schools, said in an interview that the six students all went to Tishomingo High School, which has about 240 students and is one of three schools in the district that also includes a middle school and an elementary school.
“This is a community that supports each other,” he said. “It’s a very close-knit community, so the whole community will mourn the loss of these young people.”
Mr. Waitman said he was awaiting more information about the crash from the highway patrol. “Our hearts are broken,” he said in a statement to parents and community members.
“We have counselors available to students at the moment,” he said. “We have also prepared space at Tishomingo High School with counselors available throughout the evening.” He said the school would be open on Wednesday, with the main focus on supporting students’ emotional needs.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office said on social media that the highway was open to traffic again from Tuesday afternoon.
“Our prayers are for each of the families involved and our community,” the statement said. “This is an absolute tragedy that will have lifelong consequences. This community and families need our support and prayers in this time.”
The accident came a week after a 13-year-old boy was sitting behind the wheel of a pickup truck that hit a van in West Texas, a collision that killed nine people. The dead included a golf coach from the University of the Southwest and six of his players, along with the boy and a man traveling with him, officials said.