by Sam Levin
Three teenagers are dead after a tragic car crash in Wildwood, police and school officials are confirming this morning.
A Rockwood School District spokesman tells Daily RFT that the deceased are: Lauren Oliver, an eighteen-year-old graduate of Eureka High School; her sister Kathleen Oliver, a seventeen-year-old senior at Eureka; and Christopher Lenzen, an eighteen-year-old graduate of Marquette High School. A fourth student, Olivia Dames, an eighteen-year-old graduate of Eureka High, was injured.
Bryan Ludwig, St. Louis county police lieutenant, tells us that police got a call at around 9:40 p.m. yesterday for a crash at the 18000 block of Homestead Manor Drive in Wildwood. The accident was a single-vehicle incident involving a 2013 Infiniti G37S convertible with the top down, he says.
Police believe Lenzen was the driver.
The vehicle left the roadway while traveling southbound and struck the side of a residence backyard deck. The vehicle, Ludwig says, came to rest in a wooded area behind the house.
The accident is still under investigation. Ludwig says he believes the sisters were pronounced dead on the scene and the male was transported and later pronounced deceased.
"Our hearts are breaking for the families of these young people," Kim Cranston, chief communications officer with the Rockwood School District, tells Daily RFT. "Today, many people in the Rockwood School District are grieving. These were outstanding young women and a young man, and we are so sorry for the loss of their lives."
Lenzen, she says, was an "outstanding athlete" who played varsity basketball for four years and varsity baseball for three years.
"Both of the young women who died in the crash were also very involved in their school," she continues, citing cheerleading, cross country and show choir as some of their many activities.
"Our focus is on supporting our students and staff as they process this tragedy," Cranston says, noting that they have additional counselors available working with students.
"Right now," she says, "it's really absorbing the shock."
The students, she says, were role models and involved in a variety of teams. "Those teams are like second families, lots of very close and deep relationships."
She adds, "We're supporting each other and grieving."