A Kentucky couple overjoyed to be marking their son's graduation from high school died after leaving the ceremony in a collision that also hospitalized the graduate and his brother, officials said.
Nancy and Lyndon Barnett died in the crash not long after marking their son Dalton's graduation from Fleming County High School, Principal Stephanie Emmons said in a statement.
“Dalton and his sibling are currently being treated at UK Medical Center,” Emmons said. “Please continue to uplift his family through your thoughts and prayers during this time.”
Nancy, 53, was attempting to make a left turn in the family's car when when it collided with a pickup truck in Flemingsburg, Kentucky State Police told the Lexington Herald-Leader. Nancy died at the scene, according to the Associated Press. Lyndon, 56, was rushed to the hospital, but he could not be saved.
The couple had celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary earlier this year, according to social media.
Dalton, 18, and his 26-year-old brother Michael were both hospitalized with injuries, state police said. The pickup truck's driver and a passenger were unharmed in the collision, officials said. The accident remains under investigation.
The day was a momentous one for the Barnett family. In fact, Nancy wore a special shirt to mark her son's achievement, the Herald-Leader reported.
“Senior Mom: Some people wait their entire lives to meet their inspiration. I raised mine. Class of 2020,” her shirt read.
Nancy also took to social media to mark the occasion, sharing a photo of her son clad in cap and gown on Facebook with a caption that read: “So proud of my senior.”
“John Dalton Barnett, or as we call him at FCHS, Dalton, is a sweet young man who has plans to go into the military,” Emmons and Fleming Superintendent Brian Creasman said in a joint statement to the Herald-Leader. “He is always a joy to be around and his family has always been very proud of him.
“This speaks volumes to the kind of mother Nancy was and to the Barnetts and how proud they were of their family,” the statement continued.
The graduation was 12 hours long, as just one graduating senior and at most six family members were allowed on campus at a time in accordance with social distancing restrictions enacted in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The first student to graduate did so around 8 a.m., and the family's collision occurred about 9:15 a.m., police told the newspaper.
“The Barnetts mean a lot to our Fleming County Community," Emmons and Creasman said, "And we will be here to support Dalton and his brother as they face the difficult times ahead.”