Teens died from drowning in crash near Emporia, coroner believes

Local

EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT) – Three teens died by drowning in a Saturday car crash in a river south of Emporia, according to the Lyon County Coroner’s Office.

First responders search for victims after the car crashed into the Cottonwood River near Emporia. (KSNT Photo/Michael Dakota)

The Lyon County Sheriff passed along the report from the coroner to KSNT News. Chase Luby, 17, Paxton Luby, 13, and Shelby Phoenix, 17, died in the crash in Cottonwood River near Road 150 and Road J. Emergency crews first went to the river when an injured teen escaped the car and led them to the scene.

Dive teams went into the river to try and save the three other occupants in the car but later pronounced them dead.

“The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office sends condolences to the families and friends of Shelby Phoenix and Chase and Paxton Luby.”

Deputy Zachary M. Shafer

The sole survivor went to a hospital for their injuries and later notified the families of the victims in the car. Lyon County Sheriff’s Deputy Nathan Rankin was one of the first responders at the scene and has two young children himself. He says he knew the scene will always stick with him and said to never take our families for granted.

“When you have kids, even in their dead sleep, you go home, give them a hug, give them a kiss, tell them you love them,” Rankin said.

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