Two teenage boys were killed in a two-vehicle crash on State Road 64 on Saturday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Chase Coyner, 17, was driving west on State Road 64 in a 2012 Honda Accord when he turned left in front of an oncoming 2007 Dodge Ram.
Coyner and his passenger, 15-year-old Matthew Powers, suffered fatal injuries in the crash.
Coyner was a senior at Lakewood Ranch High School, and Powers, a sophomore. Powers played clarinet in the school’s Mustang Band.
The Dodge Ram had two passengers, a 39-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl. The girl suffered critical injuries and is receiving treatment at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. Neither passenger of the Dodge Ram wearing a seat belt, according to the FHP.
Lakewood Ranch High School band director Ron Lambert paid tribute to Powers in a Facebook post on Sunday morning.
“Hello to all of you in Mustang Bandland,” Lambert said. “I apologize for the late post. It is with a very heavy heart and with the blessing of the family that I must announce the passing of Sophomore Clarinet Matt Powers. His life was taken in an automobile accident on SR 64 and Pope earlier this evening that also claimed the life of his friend Lakewood Ranch senior Chase Coyner.
“I am humbled and honored that the family chose us to respect his memory. I am humbled and honored to have spent countless days and hours watching Matt grow (not only as a musician but as a young man and in height - about 6 inches in a year!). I am humbled and honored because his dad told me tonight that band was the one thing that truly made Matt happy.”
On Sunday evening, a memorial to Coyner and Powers was visible from State Road 64 at the southeast corner of the intersection where the crash happened.
A cross spray-painted in Lakewood Ranch black, silver and green bore the names of Coyner and Powers. The ground below was piled with flowers, and a T-shirt reading “Love Mustangs” was placed in the center.