Classmate, neighbors, friends and family gathered in prayer and song Sunday evening following the Saturday death of Louisburg teenager Auston McLellan.
McLellan, 17, died in a car crash Saturday after attending a school fundraiser. Drew Carder, also 17 and a passenger in the car, suffered “bumps and bruises” and attended the candlelight vigil at the Louisburg High School stadium, said his mother, Jean Carder.
The boys were on their way home from the annual poker tournament fundraiser at the school when the crash occurred.
“They were going to have their own poker tournament,” Jean Carder said.
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McLellan died from injuries in the crash at West 271st Street and Metcalf Road, which was reported at 8:43 p.m. Saturday. He was driving a 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse southbound when it went passed another vehicle and then left the roadway. The Eclipse overturned, ejected McLellan and struck a utility pole.
McLellan died at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Kansas City. Carder was treated at Overland Park Regional Medical Center and released.
Jean Carder said McLellan was a happy-go-lucky young man who always had a goofy grin. He also was remarkably polite. “It was always Mrs. or ma’am, even when I told him to call me Momma Jean.”
McLellan’s death shook the Miami County community, particularly its youth. Hours after crash, friends sent prayers and began mourning on Twitter.
Sunday evening’s vigil followed an event at the school that morning where school officials addressed McLellan’s death.
“We had about 150 this morning. We’ll have a lot more tonight,” Louisburg resident David Smith said on his way to the candlelight vigil.
Doug Carder, Drew Carder’s father, said his son and McLellan were part of a close group of boys at the high school. They played sports together and walked into each other’s houses without hesitation. He said the family heard from players on other teams as well as many in the community.
“That’s why we chose to live in Louisburg,” Jean Carder said.