Montgomery County graduates killed in W.Va. crash identified

Two recent Montgomery County, Maryland, graduates were killed and two others were seriously injured in a crash in West Virginia on Wednesday night.

Camelle Gagne, 18, of Kensington, and Jaidon Smith, 18, of Silver Spring, died when the car Gagne was driving went off the road and over an embankment on Route 48 between Baker and Moorefield, in Hardy County, at about 7 p.m. Wednesday, the Hardy County Sheriff’s Office said.

Walter Johnson High School Principal Jennifer Baker posted a message to the school community saying, “Our hearts are broken, and our thoughts go out to the parents, siblings, friends and other family members who have suffered this great loss.” She did not identify the students.

Baker urged students to reach out to counselors or school staff members.

“Please know that our WJ school community is strong, and we are here for everyone in this difficult time,” she said.

Counselors are being made available virtually and in person.

Montgomery County Public Schools spokeswoman Gboyinde Onijala said in an email, “The focus right now is providing the school community with support and opportunities to talk through this tragic accident.”

Troy and Jessica Smith have established a scholarship for students with autism in memory of their son Jaidon.

“Our son’s death is what can bring hope to so many children and parents to be that extra. We’ve exhausted our resources trying to find all the extras and we know how hard it is and so we want to take some of that from those parents and the students,” said Troy Smith.

Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda held graduation ceremonies on June 4.

The sheriff’s office said they think high speed and wet roads combined to contribute to the crash.

WTOP’s Luke Garrett contributed to this report.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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