MCMINNVILLE — Four Tennessee high school seniors returning to play a game of zombie tag with their friends were killed in a single-car crash over the weekend, officials and the mother of one of the teens told The Associated Press on Monday.
Kaimen Collins, Christopher Frazier, Dominique Pinegar and Shanna Seiderer had left the game to make a run to McDonald's when they crashed early Sunday morning, said Kimberly Dykes, mother of Collins. All four attended Warren County High School, in the middle of the state, about an hour and a half south of Nashville. The cause of the crash remained unknown, with the Tennessee Highway Patrol investigating.
Dykes likened the group's game of zombie tag to hide-and-seek, with players dressing in dark clothes and chasing each other around.
She cried quietly as she described her son in a telephone interview.
"He was an awesome kid," she said. "He never got in trouble. ... If I told him to be home at 11, he was home at 11."
Collins had been accepted to Middle Tennessee State University just last week and planned to study computer science, his mother said.
County Director of Schools Bobby Cox confirmed the teens' identities and said he knew them all.
"They lived in this community all their lives, and this is a pretty close-knit community," he said. "They were good kids who had their whole lives ahead of them."
Cox said he had been to the school Monday morning, where grief counsellors and a psychologist were helping the teens' classmates to cope.
"It was very quiet," he said of the school. "There were not a lot of kids in the hallways. They're just trying to deal with the loss — the empty desks and kids not being where they're supposed to be.
"We're all just trying to get through it the best way we can."