Friends remember two teenagers killed after a Thanksgiving car crash

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Friends of two teenagers killed after a car accident on Thanksgiving, gathered in front of Seneca High School -a few days later -to remember them.

According to the Oldham County Police Department, 19-year-old Adrian Hightower and 17-year-old Madeline Thomas were driving South on 71 near the Crestwood exit when another car, driving North lost control, crossed the median, and hit them.

Madeline's mother, Nancy Thomas, said they were all together at the in-laws and were headed to visit Adrian's family next. She said she was concerned with the weather and wanted Adrian and Madeline to go with them. Instead, the pair got into Madeline's car. Nancy Thomas said she was in the traffic of her daughter's car accident for an hour without knowing it involved Madeline. She said she grew concerned and tried calling both of them. When they did not respond, she knew something was wrong.

Investigators tell WAVE 3 the driver of the other car was 33-year-old Robert Kane. According to them, his 5-year-old daughter was also in the car and suffered injuries. Police said alcohol may have been a factor because they smelled it in Kane's car. But Kane's wife, Becky, told WAVE 3 the family had purchased liquor to give as gifts and that her husband had not been drinking. Previously she told WAVE 3, "Anyone who knows my husband knows he's not going to drink and drive and knows that was not the situation at all, but I just want the other families to know that was not the case," she said. Kane said the toxicology report came back negative for alcohol. The accident is under investigation.

Meanwhile, Hightower and Thomas's friends are trying to make sense of the crash. Some of them said it does not seem real their friends are gone. Nearly 100 of them stood in front of Seneca High School on Saturday night to share their memories. Hightower had graduated from Seneca High School and was studying accounting at the University of Kentucky, his roommate Chris Fletcher said. Madeline Thomas was a Senior at Seneca and had aspirations to study teaching at the University of Louisville.

Friends said Hightower and Thomas had an on-again, off-again relationship.

"I'd rather have them go out together like that 'cause I don't know if I'd be able to watch just one of them living, knowing that the other one is not here," Damon Tooley said. Tooley said both of them were his friends.

"No matter what their loved status, I feel blessed {knowing they} didn't have to go alone that they are together," Nancy Thomas said. "I know they did not feel any pain," she continued.

"Make sure you talk to everybody that you can, you know. I know you have contacts in your phones call them {to} say 'I love you' or just 'hey, how are you doing' 'cause it could change a lot," Chris Fletcher said.

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