Two Texas high school seniors died and two others were injured Tuesday in a rollover crash as they left their graduation rehearsal, officials said.
The four students at W.B. Ray High School had attended the rehearsal at American Bank Center on Tuesday morning and were traveling back to school at the time of the crash, the Corpus Christi Independent School District said.
Their names were not released.
Police responded to the crash in the 2300 block of North Port Avenue around 11:25 a.m. and found four males in a white two-door vehicle rolled over on its roof, Senior Officer Travis Pace said.
Two, both believed to be 18, were dead at the scene, and the two others were taken to a hospital, he said.
The crash is under investigation, and officers believe speed and racing were contributing factors, Pace said.
The graduation ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday local time. Chairs will be reserved in honor of the students who died, the school district said.
“Our Texan community is devastated by this loss of our graduating seniors,” Principal Roxanne Cuevas said. “Our hearts go out to all the loved ones affected by this tragedy.”
The district’s crisis counseling team will provide support to students and staff members at Ray High school, with counselors available across the district, as well.
“We want to express our deepest condolences to the families of the two seniors we lost today,” district Superintendent Roland Hernandez said. “We appreciate our community’s prayers for our district during what continues to be an incredibly challenging time for us as well as for educators across the nation.”
Mayor Paulette Guajardo said: “I am heartbroken.”
“Today the City of Corpus Christi mourns the loss of the W. B. Ray High School graduating seniors who tragically lost their lives in a car accident after leaving graduation rehearsal," she said in a statement on Facebook.
A candlelight prayer vigil is scheduled for at 7: 30 p.m. Thursday local time at Heritage Park.