ORLAND, Ind. (WANE) — The tight-knit community of Orland is shattered after the death of 16-year-old Tyler Curtis and 14-year-old Chace Curtis.
The two brothers were killed after the car they were riding in crashed into a tree Thursday afternoon. WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee spoke to people in the Orland, where the boys grew up, and they were described as very respectful, sweet and athletic.
“They used to come in here and get their drinks before their games, really good, really good kids and very well mannered,” said Rockele Gruss. “I am devastated of their loss, they also went to school with my kids too.”
According to the owner of Chubby’s Fish & Steak, Prairie Heights High School students ate breakfast together and then went to the crash site to pay their respects. Various groups continued to gather throughout the day around the tree where the crash happened placing flowers and different gifts.
Garry L. Hanna, owner of Rolley Valley Grill did not know the teenage boys, but as a parent, he couldn’t imagine what the Curtis’ parents are feeling.
“I just would like to wish that family the best that I could, I don’t know if I can do anything for them,” said Hanna. “It brings tears to my eyes because I don’t even know how they move on. As a parent, there is nothing that can hit you deeper. These kids were from our school, so it’s a local matter. The parents are going through things that I can’t even imagine.”
Tyler was a member of the wrestling team and baseball team at Prairie Heights.
“Tyler and Chace Curtis were two of the greatest kids you’ll ever know,” Praire Heights baseball head baseball coach T.J. Guthrie said in a tweet. “Our hearts break for this family. This is the worst day I’ve had in nine years of coaching.”
The two brothers were killed after their vehicle crashed into a tree and split in two. According to the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, the Lexus that the brothers were in was speeding down C.R. 675 West when the driver lost control over a small hill in the roadway. The vehicle crossed the northbound lane and traveled off the roadway, and hit a tree nearly head-on. The impact split the sedan in two, and the teens were ejected.