Investigators are looking into why a car ran a stop sign in southeast Sedgwick County on Sunday night, setting the stage for a collision that killed a 17-year-old boy.
The collision occurred at about 7:15 p.m. at 95th South and Greenwich Road, Sedgwick County sheriff’s Lt. Dave Mattingly said Monday. That’s in a rural area about two miles east of the south edge of Derby.
Clayton Akers-Matzen, 17, was a passenger in a red Dodge driving north on Greenwich Road when it ran a stop sign and was hit by a black Chrysler coming west on 95th, Mattingly said. Akers-Matzen stopped breathing at the scene of the accident, he said. An ambulance transported him to Wesley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The driver of the Dodge, 18-year-old Jeshua J. Pence of Derby, was taken to Wesley Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Chrysler, 27-year-old Tyler Frakes of Douglass, declined medical treatment at the scene.
“There may have been a distraction” for the driver of the Dodge, Mattingly said. “I don’t know that we know just yet.”
Students at Derby wore blue to school Monday because that was Akers-Matzen’s favorite color, said his friend, Derek Stearns.
“He was just really, really good to me,” Stearns said. “He helped me through the hardest part of my life.”
Stearns said he lost an older sister to leukemia before he was born. She owned a necklace with St. Jude on it.
“He wore it every day to represent my sister,” Stearns said.
There are two beds in his bedroom at home, Stearns said – one for him and one for Akers-Matzen, who spent seemingly every weekend there.
A senior at Derby High School, Akers-Matzen was a midfielder on the Panther soccer team. He hoped to play soccer in college.
At least one student wore the number 13 to school Monday, honoring Akers-Matzen’s uniform number on the soccer team. Derby’s game against Andover on Monday night was postponed, district officials announced.
Students gathered at the school to grieve and reminisce. They also took to social media to remember their schoolmate.
“This is all so stupid and unfair and I want to put my fist through a wall and cry my eyes out at the same time,” his girlfriend, Megan Martinez, posted Monday morning on Twitter.
Stearns tweeted on Monday morning, “I think the worst part is waking up and realizing it wasn’t just a dream.”
Akers-Matzen is the second Derby High School student killed in an automobile accident this year. Braxton Kooser, a 14-year-old freshman, was killed when the SUV he was riding in veered into a ditch and rolled along 87th Street South near Webb Road on Jan. 26.
Funeral services for Akers-Matzen are pending with Webb-Shinkle Mortuary in Clearwater.