ROSE HILL, Kan. (KSNW) — A Rose Hill family is shocked after losing their daughter and her boyfriend in a crash on Sunday.

According to Andover Police Chief Buck Buchanan, a man stole a truck at the Dollar General in Andover and ran from police, enacting a chase. Officers terminated the pursuit when they reached Greenwich Road and 47th Street South, but the suspect continued driving.

Andover police say a local teen stole a truck and killed two in a crash. (KSN Photo)

When the suspect got onto 63rd Street South, officers believe that he struck a guard rail and lost part of a front tire before continuing west toward Derby. Once he reached 103rd Street East, he crossed the center line, side-swiped one vehicle, and then struck another vehicle head-on.

Two people were in the car that was hit head-on, Alyna Elder, 19, and her boyfriend Nathaniel Ashworth, 20. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the car that was side-swiped was uninjured. The driver of the stolen truck received minor injuries and was taken to an area hospital.

After the suspect was released from the hospital, he was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of the following:

  • Murder in the second degree; Unintentional but reckless
  • Murder in the second degree; Unintentional but reckless
  • Possession of stolen property; Felony
  • Flee or attempt to elude; Motor vehicle accident or damage property
  • Failure to stop at accident; Results in death
  • Duty of driver to report upon damaging unattended vehicle/property

KSN does not identify a suspect until they are formally charged with a crime.

Nathaniel Ashworth and Alyna Elder (Courtesy: Charlene Elder)

Charlene and Scott Elder say their daughter, Alyna, and Nathaniel dated for three years after meeting at a church lock-in.

The Elders say they were planning their future together.

“I believe that they were both taken at the same time because it was like a true Romeo and Juliet type thing,” Scott said. “Neither one of them, I don’t believe, could have went on without the other and wouldn’t have wanted to. “

The Elders say they are honored to have been her parents.

“The 20 years I had with her, she taught me more than I ever thought was possible,” Charlene said. “With the autistic brain thinking differently, I had to learn how she thought and how her brain works.”

They say Alyna and Nathaniel knew they were meant to be together forever.

“They both were on the autistic spectrum, and they both had to overcome many challenges in their lives, but they knew when they found each other, and they fell in love that they wanted forever,” Scott said. “They both had heart for others. They just they were so loving. She was about as loving a person as ever. She had a free spirit and a sweet spirit.”

They are proud of what Alyna accomplished in her life.

“But she did make some huge strides,” Charlene said. “She got her driver’s license. She graduated high school.”

Alyna and Nathaniel were on their way to Charlene and Scott’s 25th-anniversary party, and they believe that was no coincidence.

“My faith tells me that in God’s infinite wisdom, that he knew that we were going to have this party on the same day that he took her to go home to be with him,” Charlene said. “He knew he was actually just going to create a way for my whole family to be there to support.”

They say they were looking forward to being Nathaniel’s in-laws one day.

“I believe that they were both taken at the same time because, I mean, it was like a true Romeo and Juliet type thing,” Scott said. “Neither one of them really, I don’t believe, could have went on without the other and wouldn’t have wanted to. And Nathaniel loved my daughter with all this heart, and he was a great kid.”

They learned from Alyna.

“She taught me so much and made me a better person, a better mother, a better everything, and she taught me more than she’d ever realized she taught me,” Charlene said. “I think she was just an angel sent from heaven, and they’re there in heaven, and we’ll see them again someday.”

They say the collision never should have happened.

“My question was, ‘Why? These kids had their whole lives ahead of them,'” Scott said. “Just really beginning in life, and it’s over. And it’s because of the actions of a careless individual who was running from the police. Now two families are destroyed, torn apart from this terrible tragedy, and it didn’t need to happen.”

The Elders say you never know when someone’s last moments will be.

“Hug them a little tighter,” the Elders said. “Let them know you love them. Don’t let a moment pass without telling them how you feel because it might be your last time. Never ever go to sleep or leave a phone call without saying ‘I love you.'”

A GoFundMe has been set up for funeral expenses by Elder’s family. If you wish to donate to the GoFundMe, click here.