Saluda High teens killed in crash, coroner confirms

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Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020
News 12 at 6 O'Clock/NBC at 7

Drayton Black and Jaden Coleman were the two teens killed in the crash on Monday. A third teen, Kadius Coleman, remains in the hospital. (Source: WRDW)

SALUDA COUNTY, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Saluda County Coroner's Office has confirmed two high school students were killed in a Monday evening crash.

According to the coroner, Drayton Wade Black, 17, and Jaden Coleman, 16, were killed on Long Road.

The crash happened around 10:15 p.m. Monday when officials say say their car left the left side of Long Road and hit a tree.

A third person is currently suffering from life-threatening injuries.

Black and Coleman were students at Saluda High School where their fellow students spent the day in mourning.

"I don't think you can really label that," one student said. "Unconditionally. Saluda will never be the same without these boys. None of them will be forgotten. Ever."

One after another, friends of the three boys returned to the spot where both teens lost their lives -- the spot that left a school of students and teachers heartbroken and wondering why.

"It's devastating," Harvey Livingston, Saluda County superintendent, said. "We're a close-knit family and we love our kids. We're small so we all know each other. It's just hard to put into words."

Livingston says today has not been easy. They have grief counselors, pastors, and teachers there to help.

"As the people who were his age and who loved them and knew them, we're just trying to be there for each other," one student said. "Give each other as much love and support as we can. Prayer is one of the top things for us because we don't understand why but we know it's greater."

Saluda High School posted a statement on their Facebook page.

"Our hearts are heavy in Saluda County. Please keep our community in your thoughts and prayers. Grief counselors and other support staff will be available in our schools throughout the week for students and staff members," the post said.

No funeral arrangements have been set.

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