The family was identified as Nancy Barnett, 53; her husband Lyndon Barnett, 56; and sons Michael Barnett, 26; and Dalton Barnett, 18, who had just graduated high school.
The Barnett’s had just left Fleming County High School (FCHS) on May 23 where they were celebrating Dalton’s graduation when they collided with a pickup truck, Kentucky State Police said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.
Nancy was pronounced dead at the scene and Lyndon was transported to the University of Kentucky Medical Center (UKMC) in Lexington, where he died of his injuries.
Dalton and Michael were being treated at UKMC, FCHS principal Stephanie Emmons said. The two people in the pickup truck were not injured, police said.
“There was a car accident involving [Dalton] and his family shortly after his graduation ceremony,” Emmons wrote in a statement. “We have learned that his mother, Nancy Barnett, and his father, Lyndon Barnett, both passed away as a result of the accident.”
“Please continue to uplift his family through your thoughts and prayers during this time,” she added.
In a joint statement, Emmons and Fleming Superintendent Brian Creasman said Dalton is a “sweet young man who has plans to go into the military,” according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. “He is always a joy to be around and his family has always been very proud of him.”
Nancy wore a shirt to the ceremony that read, “Senior Mom: Some people wait their entire lives to meet their inspiration. I raised mine. Class of 2020.”
“This speaks volumes to the kind of mother Nancy was and to the Barnetts and how proud they were of their family,” Emmons and Creasman told the newspaper. “The Barnetts mean a lot to our Fleming County Community and we will be here to support Dalton and his brother as they face the difficult times ahead.”
In a recent Facebook post, Nancy shared a photo of Dalton in his cap and gown with the caption: “So proud of my senior.”
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear reached out to the schoolulance, offering prayers and assistance, reported the Herald-Leader.
Nancy and Lyndon were married for more than 35 years and celebrated their anniversary in late March, according to a statement on Facebook where she wrote, “35 years ago today I married my best friend and love of my life Happy Anniversary Johnson I Love You.”
The car accident is currently under investigation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.