MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Dakota County Sheriff says he’ll know this week if a game involving Nerf guns had anything to do with the deaths of two Lakeville teenagers.
A rollover crash Friday afternoon killed Lakeville South High School students Johnny Price and Jake Flynn. The driver, Alex Hughes, is in critical condition. Mason Kohlbach was also in the car, he’s listed as satisfactory.READ MORE: Eli Hart Killing: Mother Accused Of Murdering 6-Year-Old Son To Appear In Court Tuesday
As the snow melts, memories are far from fading. Tears linger on what days ago was just a patch of grass.
This was Devin Trittin’s first visit to the place where his best friend Jake lost his life.
“I got the call that said they were in a bad crash so I rushed over, we got the hospital that they were apparently going to, but about two minutes later we found out that they died on impact,” Trittin said.
He says the pair were University of Missouri-bound. He says his loyal friend made great grades and hoped to play football there.
“We were planning on being roommates. Now, I don’t even know,” Trittin said.
There’s a lot he doesn’t know, including how it happened. Elizabeth Barnes, the girlfriend of Johnny Price, said she had just talked to him before the crash.
“I was waiting in the parking lot for him to come back in his car and I was in there. They were just supposed to do their Nerf kidnapping and I was in the car for an hour and I called my mom and said I don’t think something is right,” Barnes said.READ MORE: Chemical Spill Prompts Hotel Evacuation In Bloomington
She’s talking about a game popular among teens. A Twitter page shows kids in the area playing, they try to hit each other with nerf bullets, last man standing wins a pool of cash.
“We would go out every single day and it was fun, but everyone could see that it was becoming dangerous. I mean no one ever thought that anything like this would ever happen,” Trittin said.
The sheriff says he’s going to try and figure out if what happened here had anything to do with the nerf game but regardless, Devin says that will never be a game to him again.
“Now it’s become part of I’d say a hated thing in our community, no one supports it anymore, everyone’s just mad that it ever happened in the first place,” Trittin said.
Letting go of the game, he is holding onto something very tightly – the shirt Jake once wore says.
“When his parents gave me this sweatshirt, I just broke down and couldn’t say anything for probably an hour, hour and a half,” Tritton said.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner said Sunday that Price died of blunt force craniocerebral injuries suffered in the single vehicle crash. The medical examiner also said Flynn died of multiple blunt force injuries in the crash.MORE NEWS: Mosquitoes Mostly Missing, But Twin Cities Thick With Ticks
The sheriff says investigators are checking whether anything was mechanically wrong with the vehicle. He doesn’t know if any of the teens were wearing seat belts.