PRINCETON — While Indiana State Police continue investigation of the Saturday night crash on Old U.S. 41 that claimed the lives of two recent Princeton Community High School graduates, and seriously injured the driver of the other vehicle, the community offered comfort to grieving families.
"We are saddened to learn about the tragic accident that took the lives of two recent graduates of North Gibson School Corporation. Our heartfelt condolences go out to their families," officials of the school posted on social media Sunday. "We know that the loss will have an effect on both family and friends who are students and staff at our schools. We will have resources and support services available through our social workers and guidance counselors for any students and staff in need of support upon return to school on Tuesday. Tiger family, let’s continue to wrap our arms of support around those affected by this tragedy."
The family of Kaden McKannon, who was seriously injured in a car accident last year, issued an appeal Sunday as well: "Please lift Kaden and his family in prayer. Kaden’s stepbrother Trevor and his best friend James were killed in a car accident last night."
A softball organization reported that Watt was playing in a weekend tournament and was on his way back to play the second game of the tournament at the time of the crash. Teams in the tourney donated winnings to Watt's team in honor of him and Gasaway, and reported benefit tournaments are planned to help the families with funeral expenses.
Indiana State Police confirmed Sunday morning that the crash happened at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday on Old U.S. 41 at the intersection of County Road 225.
Police said that in preliminary investigation, they believe Watt was northbound in a 2018 Chevrolet Cruze with Gasaway as his front seat passenger, slowing to turn left onto County Road 225 North.
"Ashley Sanders, 25, of Patoka, was driving a 2013 Chrysler 2000 at a high rate of speed northbound on Old US 41 behind Watt’s vehicle. For unknown reasons, Sanders failed to notice Watt’s vehicle was slowing down and collided into its rear," police reported in the news release.
Watt and Gasaway were wearing seat belts, but were pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.
Sanders, who police said was not wearing a seat belt, was air-lifted to St. Vincent Hospital in Evansville with serious injuries.
The investigation is continuing, but investigating troopers said they believe alcohol is a factor.
The road was closed to traffic for about two and a half hours while police investigated the crash.