Gaysha Alfred, Kenni Cantu USD 383 Students died in Manhattan solo-car accident

Manhattan-Ogden School District students killed in Manhattan solo-car accident

  • Gaysha Alfred Death – Cause of Death 
  • Kenni Cantu Death – Cause of Death 

Manhattan-Ogden School District students, 14 -year-old Gaysha Alfred and 14-year-old  Kenni Cantu, both of Manhattan, Kansas have lost their lives in a single-car accident that happened on Sunday afternoon, December 5, 2021. The tragic incident that claimed the lives of the Kansas juveniles happened on K18 Highway near mile marker 186 in Manhattan, Kansas. Both Gaysha Alfred and Kenni Cantu were students of Eisenhower Middle School.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer was heading eastbound on K18 Highway, when the driver of the car failed to maintain control of the car, drifted off the roadway and the car plunged into a ditch. The car then struck a concrete bridge pillar and the impact caused the car to burst into flames.

Gaysha Alfred and Kenni Cantu sustained serious injuries and they were both pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Meanwhile, three other occupants; 17-year-old Burgess, Paris Eboni, 13-year-old Smith Haynes, Alecia Reyna, both of Manhattan, Kansas were hospitalized with minor injuries, while 14-year-old Vazques-Ponce, Jean Carlos, also of Manhattan, Kansas was flown to KU Medical Center hospital with serious injuries.

The news of their deaths was made known via a press release by the district Superintendent, Dr. Marvin Wade

USD 383 Families,

“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.

Parents/guardians can do the following to support their child:

Talk with your child about his/her feelings about the tragedy; share your feelings too
Talk about what happened, give your child information he/she can understand
Reassure your child that they are safe; you may need to repeat this reassurance often
Listen and comfort your child often
Reach out to school mental health liaisons – Samantha Brown ( [email protected]) or Carrie Hewins ( [email protected])
Thank you for your support of our school district as we work together to cope with this loss. Please observe your child closely over the next several days and weeks to watch for signs of distress, which may indicate a need for additional support and guidance. Please feel free to call the school if you have any concerns or questions regarding your child”.

A GoFundMe account has been launched by Kenni’s sister, Madian Cantu Encarnacion with the goal of raising $25,000 to support his family with the funeral expenses. As of As of Tuesday evening, $12,220 of the fund’s $25,000 goal has been raised.

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