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Friend Remembers Boy Scout Killed In Wyoming Crash

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. (CBS4)- A deadly collision claims the lives of three Boy Scouts and an adult from Woodland Park along with a toddler in another vehicle.

The Wyoming State Patrol said the Boy Scouts were in a car returning to Colorado from a Boy Scout camp veered into an oncoming lane and slammed head-on into a motor home, killing five people and injuring four others.

All four people in the vehicle and a 3-year-old passenger in the motor home were killed in the collision on Highway 120 in northcentral Wyoming, Sgt. Stephen Townsend said.

The deceased have been identified by the Woodland Park School District as Paul Kekich, 16, Nick Naples, 17, Alex Ragan, 17 and adult leader Richard Kleiner.

They had spent a week at Camp Buffalo Bill near Cody, Wyoming, along with two other troops, one from Colorado Springs and the other from Woodland Park.

Paul’s friend is devastated by the news of the crash but remembers Paul as someone who he was lucky to be friends with.

“He always made us smile, always made the day better. He made great plays in the outfield. It’s still so unreal, it still hasn’t hit me that Paul’s gone,” said Paul’s friend Dakota Herman.

The three teens killed in the crash all attended Woodland Park High School.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of these high school students who tragically lost their lives,” said Woodland Park School District Superintendent Jed Bowman.

Grief counselors will be available Monday and Tuesday at Woodland Park High School.

The Boy Scouts of America- Pikes Peak Council released this statement Sunday evening, “Pikes Peak Council, Boy Scouts of America are saddened to receive news that three Scouts and one adult leader from Troop 230 in Woodland Park died in a car accident on their way home from Buffalo Bill Cody Scout Camp in Wyoming. The Council is working to provide support to all those involved, and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with them during this difficult time.”

The other four occupants of the motor home were injured in the crash around 10 a.m. Saturday in Hot Springs County, but their conditions were not immediately available.

The person believed to be the driver was flown to a Billings, Mont., hospital, while the other three were rushed to a Thermopolis hospital, about 35 miles south of the crash site, Townsend said in a news release.

The Honda Element was one of three vehicles carrying a group of Boy Scouts back to the Colorado Springs area. The other two vehicles were not involved in the crash.

Hot Springs County Sheriff Lou Falgoust told The Billings Gazette that the Scout group had been camping around an area known as Pahaska Teepee.

“The driver of the Honda was around 64 years old,” Falgoust said. “They were with a convoy of at least two other vehicles that had made the trip. One was 200 yards ahead and the other was the same distance behind when the accident happened.”

The patrol said crash investigators were trying to determine why the car crossed into the oncoming lane.

The motor home had been towing a passenger car.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misidentified the troop the deceased were in.

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