LAKEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — Counselors, hugs and flowers are helping students cope with the deaths of two classmates at a Twin Cities high school.
Jake Flynn, 17, and Johnny Price, 18, died when the truck they were riding in rolled over on Friday afternoon. Investigators say the teenagers had just left Lakeville South High School with two other friends. Those boys survived, Including the driver. But he’s too badly hurt to explain what happened right now.READ MORE: Next Weather Alert: Storms Likely Thursday In South-Central, Southeastern Minnesota
Police are investigating whether a game involving Nerf guns played a part in the crash.
Meanwhile, grief counselors and ministers spent Monday consoling the students and teachers who Flynn and Price left behind.
A freshly-painted rock has become a memorial to the two students who were killed Friday. On Monday, school leaders shared how they’re trying to ease the pain of seeing empty desks once filled by Johnny Price and Jake Flynn.
A staff member went to each of their classes.
“At the start of the hour they go to the boys’ classroom and they share thoughts about the wonderful young men these two boys were and place a rose at their desk in their memory today during class,” Principal John Braun said.
Over the weekend, the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office said investigators are looking into whether the crash victims were playing a game of Nerf Wars, a teenage version of capture the flag.
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“It is not a part of anywhere on our campus, It’s not a sanctioned school activity in any way, we have not seen any Nerf guns in our building,” Braun said.
Price’s girlfriend told WCCO she talked to him just before he got into the truck Friday.
“I was waiting the parking lot for him to come back. I was there for a little, they were just supposed to do a quick Nerf kidnapping,” Elizabeth Barnes said.
He never came back.
“I would encourage people to talk to their kids that might be participating in this not just for the safety of driving, but nowadays with guns, and people carrying guns, it’s just a bad time to be carrying this tradition on,” Lakeville Police Chief Jeff Long said.
One of the survivors of the crash, 18-year-old Mason Kohlbeck, was back in school Monday visiting his classmates.
Alex Hughes, the 17-year-old driver of the truck, is still hospitalized at Hennepin County Medical Center. The sheriff’s office is examining data from the truck’s computer and reviewing witness statements to determine if Nerf Wars was a factor in the crash.MORE NEWS: 4 Boys Arrested After Crashing Stolen Vehicle Outside Minnesota State Capitol
The school district is providing transportation to students who want to attend the funerals of Price and Flynn this week.