AUBURN – Edward Little High School students streamed into the guidance office conference room throughout the day Thursday, unable to sit through classes. They tried to comprehend the fact that they would never again see their friend tinkering with his beloved car or hear him boasting about it.
Kenny Jellison, 18, was a passenger in a car that crashed on a wet Lewiston street Wednesday night. He shouldn’t have died, his friends said. It wasn’t his time to go.
Chris Moreno, a senior, said he only lasted about 10 minutes in class before drifting into the office where counselors offered their services to grieving teens.
“Today was just a day when people showed up, but not much got done,” Moreno said. He had spent a lot of time with Jellison working on his prized Nissan 240 SX that he bought last summer.
Students penned their goodbyes on a banner and consoled each other by remembering happier times with Jellison.
Assistant Principal Steve Galway couldn’t finish the school announcements over the PA system Thursday morning before his voice caught.
The normally noisy hallways were nearly silent, students said.
“A lot of people, mostly closer friends were having breakdowns about it,” said Jake Dostie, Jellison’s friend. “People were crying everywhere.”
Kyle Karkos was driving when his car skidded sideways into a utility pole at the intersection of Canal and Lisbon streets. Jellison was in the passenger’s seat. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said speed appeared to be a factor in the accident. They are continuing their investigation.
They didn’t file any charges Thursday in connection with the crash, but Lewiston police Lt. Michael McGonagle said that doesn’t mean there won’t be any.
Karkos suffered broken bones and a possible head injury. He was listed in fair condition Thursday at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.
Both youths were high school seniors.
Jellison was a popular, easygoing kid who was happiest when he was in his car or working on it, his friends said.
“He lived for it,” Moreno said. “It’s crazy. That’s all he wanted to do.”
His brother, Travis, came to school briefly several times Thursday, but didn’t stay, Moreno said. Travis Jellison was in a nearby car Wednesday night when the accident happened. He called Dostie on his cell phone later that night to deliver the bad news.
Dostie said nobody was pointing fingers.
“Everyone just said it was the conditions of the road. There was nothing that could have prevented it.”