Fund set up to pay for funeral after deadly Manhattan crash kills two 14-year-olds

Local News

RILEY COUNTY (KSNT) – A GoFundMe account has been set up for the funeral of a 14-year-old boy killed in a car crash early Sunday morning.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Kenni Cantu, 14, of Manhattan, and Gayhsa Alfred, 14, of Manhattan, were eastbound on K18 when the driver lost control, entered the south ditch and hit a concrete bridge pillar. The vehicle then caught fire.

The two teens were middle school students in the Manhattan-Ogden School District. Superintendent Dr. Marvin Wade sent the following message to district families.

A fundraising account has been set up for Cantu’s funeral.

The account, created on Sunday, said the family has received the news that Cantu died in a “fatal car accident.”

“He was only 14 years old and had so much to live for but we know he’s in a better place now and watching over us. If you guys can help contribute any fond memories, pictures, prayers or donations it will be greatly appreciated.” 

Madian Cantu Encarnacion, Organizer, GoFundMe account

By Monday morning the account had raised $7,715.

Three other teens, the 17-year-old driver, a 13-year-old female passenger, and a 14-year-old male passenger with suspected serious injuries, were all taken to area hospitals.

The school district released a statement on Sunday, Dec. 5.

“It is with great sadness that I am informing you of the death of two of our students. While words cannot express our collective grief and sadness at this tragic news, I recognize the importance of you having this information as quickly as possible so it can be discussed within your family prior to tomorrow’s school day. 

Early in the morning of Sunday, December 5, there was a single car accident with two fatalities. Eisenhower Middle School students Gaysha Alfred and Kenni Cantu passed away in the accident. Anthony Middle School student Jean-Carlos Vasquez-Ponce was life flighted to KU Medical Center. Two additional occupants of the vehicle sustained minor injuries.

We have implemented our Emergency Response Plan to provide support to students, staff members and families during the difficult days and weeks ahead. Counselors and other school staff will be available in the school setting to assist students and staff.

If you feel your child needs additional assistance or is having a great deal of difficulty coping, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school. While it is important to deal with grief, loss, anger, and fear reactions, we believe it is essential to resume as normal a routine as possible regarding the school schedule and activities.”


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