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Friends gather to remember teens killed in crash, one a Watertown H.S. student: “Too young to die”

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WATERTOWN -- FOX6 News has learned five people with connections to Watertown High School, including two current students, were involved in a crash that followed a pursuit in Watertown early Wednesday morning, October 7th. One of two people killed in the crash was a student at the school.

Fatal crash in Watertown

Fatal crash in Watertown

Those killed in the crash have been identified as: 17-year-old Donovan Cagney and 17-year-old Bradley Chavez.

The three people injured in this crash were juvenile females, according to the Sheriff's Office.

FOX6 News has obtained a letter written to parents and guardians of students at Watertown High School from Principal William Loss.

That letter reads as follows:


This morning we received tragic news. We regret to inform you that five individuals with connections to Watertown High School, including two current WHS students, were involved in a car crash on Wednesday morning, October 7, 2015. Two of the individuals involved, including one WHS student, have died. At this time we have not been authorized to release the names of those involved.

Currently, we have counselors from throughout the district, including school psychologists and social workers, on hand to meet with students as needed. Be assured that we will do everything we can to assist students with their grieving process. If you notice that your student is struggling with the loss of his or her classmate, please feel free to contact Student Services at Watertown High School so that we can provide them the support needed.

We also want to help our parents and guardians. To that end, our counselors will be available on Thursday, October 8th from 5:30-7:00pm in the WHS Library to provide resources on coping with grief. Please feel free to attend at any time during this time frame. Alternatively, feel free to contact our Student Services Office at 920-262-7500 and speak to one of our counselors.

If we can be of assistance in any other way, please let us know.


William R. Loss

WHS Principal"

According to Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 1:57 a.m., an officer initiated and conducted a traffic stop on County Road E near County Road P in the Town of Ixonia. At approximately 2:13 a.m., the driver of the vehicle fled from the traffic stop at a high rate of speed, northbound on County Road E toward Watertown.

As the vehicle entered Watertown, the driver lost control on a slight curve on Concord Drive near Richards Avenue and crashed into a tree near Brian Court. The driver and front seat passenger were both killed.

Again, according to the principal at Watertown High School, one of those killed was a student at the school.

Three other passengers were transported to area medical facilities.

Fatal crash in Watertown

Fatal crash in Watertown

Responding units from the Watertown Police Department, Fire, EMS and the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office arrived on scene to assist with medical needs and incident control.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has turned over the investigation to the Wisconsin State Patrol Crash Reconstruction Team and the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office is also involved.

Officials have not commented on the reason for the chase.

FOX6 News found waves of people coming to Concord Avenue near Brian Court to pay their respects for those who lost their lives in this crash.

"I love them both like family. They were too young to die," Brianna Roraff said.

Friends remember teens killed in crash in Watertown

Friends remember teens killed in crash in Watertown

"I really hope the families can get some answers and I really do hope the best for all the families," Tyler Jenkins said.

"They would always have smiles on their faces -- even when they had their own stuff going on. They would just be there for everybody else through everything," Emily Eppler said.

On Wednesday evening, a vigil was held to remember those who lost their lives in this crash.

"I'm hurt. I had to lose two good friends," Thomas Berget said.

"I'm just not really accepting the fact they're gone," Taylor Podlesnik said. "I didn't think I'd wake up in the morning and not have them. I took their friendship for granted. I didn't think they'd be gone. I just saw them yesterday."

"There's all kinds of rumors going around and nobody really knows the story yet," Berget said. "People pass away and you're going to miss them, but you'll see them eventually -- whether in your dreams or in your memories or the things you do, they will always be there."

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.


    • HymanEKuykendall

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  • R2

    No doubt these kids made some real stupid choices that night and prior to, but the dismissal of their lost lives is pretty sickening. My heart breaks for the families that lost their children, and the survivors that will have to live with this forever.

  • Donald

    It is kind of sad that there are people whom would type such negative stuff after such a tragic situation. Drugs are everywhere and destroy lives. At age 17 nobody deserves to die and no family deserves to lose their loved ones like this. If anything we should be focusing and helping kids guiding them with drug counseling, Love and trying to teach the lost one there is more to life. The drugs that are popular now days are so controlling and easy to get every where at any age even in high schools. I pray that the family’s and friends of the lost children may find peace and comfort in God.

  • Adrianna

    How dare you! Local trash? Nothing has been finalized or given out, therefore you DO NOT know what happened. It was a very grave and endangering mistake, but the fact that you, as a human being, would call two deaths a cleansing? You are despicable. You did not know those kids, I did. I am a current student at Watertown High school. Those kids had their lives ahead of them, and their parents tried and still try their hardest. The police pursuing them in a residential area was irresponsible, and that is the truth. They had already obtained information, and seeing as they are just a group of “stupid teenagers,” I’m sure they would have abandoned the car and left on foot. Think before you speak, and when you do speak, speak decently. I am sickened.

    • Fred

      Get you head out of the clouds or maybe that dark hole a bit lower. A ‘grave mistake’? These kids are auto thieves! Being a thief isn’t a mistake, it’s an action that’s premeditated by choice. Yes, they had their whole lives ahead of them and it looks like they chose that path. Would it be any different if the owner of the car wasted them with gunfire? Sure it would. The parents would be suing the car owner. Now it’ll probably be the Police being sued for doing their jobs.

    • Fred

      People like you are what’s wrong with this ever condoning society. Keep making excuses for the wrong actions and decisions people make. When they do a crime you call it a mistake. These kids would be alive if they didn’t run from the cops – but your liberal twist is to blame the cops for chasing them. News flash – the Cops are here to protect and serve, not babysit 17 year old punks. Sure let them bail and run so they can do it again another day and ruin someone else’s day. I guess your mommy and daddy bought you a car so when you smash it up or it get’s stolen you get another one for free.. the law abiding adults don’t have that option. Time for you to grow up and accept the fact that you do the time when you do the crime. In this case their choice for crime ended their lives – plain and simple. Don’t blame anyone else.

  • Obvious

    Nicely said Fred. Today I went to work as did my wife(in a junky unsafe car) we both went to work to pay for the Pontiac Grand Prix that use to sit in my driveway. Later I will take the junky car to a mechanic to see how much it is going to cost to make it road worthy. By the way I’m not rich and will likely take out a loan for this. Then I can figure out how I’m going to get my kid to band practice. All this while I sit here and read how these car thieves were great people and didn’t deserve what they got. Time to take your town back from these type of dirtbags people it’s only going to get worse as you defend these thieves. People that act like these people die so live with it.

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