Three Students Killed After 2-Car Crash On Snyder Freeway

By Justin Wilfon

(LOUISVILLE) -- The lives of three Eastern High School students were cut short Tuesday when they were involved in a head-on collision on the Gene Synder Freeway near LaGrange Road. Seventeen-year-old James Granada-Malave, 16-year-old Justin Cooper and 18-year-old Kayde Clohessy were wearing seatbelts but died at the scene. As WAVE 3's Justin Wilfon reports, fellow Eastern students and faculty at the school took time to remember the lives of the three young men who died.

Louisville Metro Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell says one of the cars blew a tire and that may have caused the crash.

A witness told police that the driver of a northbound red Subaru Outback lost control when a tire exploded. The car went across the grass median and collided with a green Pontiac traveling southbound.

Mitchell says all three victims died at the scene.

The female driver of the Pontiac was taken to University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

At Eastern High School, classes went on as usual, but with the knowledge that three students were killed, it was anything but a normal day, with students and faculty trying to cope with the tragic loss.

Renee Walsh has been greeting students at Eastern for 13 years. On Wednesday, three of them didn't show up. "You think about what we're missing," Walsh said. "As staff members, when we lose three."

Eastern Principal James Sexton told us all three students "were involved in activities here at the school."

Anton Garcia says he heard about it from his parents. "My mom woke me up and I heard about it, and I was just like surprised. Every year there's like two or three kids in accidents, and I just feel really bad about it."

As Garcia mentioned, grief for students killed in auto crashes is nothing new: students from Eastern have been killed in accidents almost every year.

"My daughter last night said something to me," Walsh said. "And her statement was: 'mom, I wish it would stop for Eastern.' And I said, 'baby, I do too.'"

Grief counselors from all over the county were on hand to help students and teachers who want to talk about the tragic loss of three young men. Some teachers have also allowed students to take walks around the school grounds so they can talk about what happened.

Online Reporter: Justin Wilfon

Online Producer: Michael Dever