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16-year-old dies after car crash into Carmel apartment building

Michael Jent, a 16-year-old junior at Carmel High School, died Sunday after he was injured early Friday morning in a single-vehicle crash.

CARMEL, Ind. — Police say a 16-year-old student at Carmel High School died Sunday morning from injuries he suffered when he crashed his Jeep into an apartment building on Main Street early Friday. 

Carmel Police identified the driver as Michael Jent, a junior at Carmel High School who was also a member of the swim team.

Jent crashed around 5:15 a.m. at The Olivia on Main apartments in the 1100 block of West Main Street, just west of Old Meridian Street. 

Investigators believe Jent was driving east on Main Street when he lost control and crashed into the building, Carmel Police said in a statement.

Credit: Carmel High School Athletics
Pictured is Michael Jent as a freshman in high school.

The crash caused significant damage to the Jeep and building. Jent was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. 

"Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Jent family as well as the students and staff of Carmel High School as they continue to process this tragic loss," Lt. Tim Byrne, with the Carmel Police Department, said in the announcement of Jent's death Sunday.

Credit: WTHR
A 16-year-old suffered serious injuries after driving into a building on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023 on Main Street in Carmel.

The damaged building became the site of a growing memorial Sunday as news spread that Jent did not survive.

"I was very shocked and very scared. We were all praying for him to pull through," said Peyton Newkirk, who is friends with Jent's younger brother. 

The news of Jent's passing is something they were all praying would never come. Newkirk was one of several people who visited the scene of the crash to drop flowers, notes and teddy bears, and reflect.

"I just feel sad for his family and friends. It's kind of insane that life is so fragile. Tomorrow is not promised," said Newkirk.

Credit: WTHR
Flowers rest at the Carmel crash site where a 16-year-old student was injured early Friday morning. Carmel police announced he died Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023.

Although his life was tragically cut short, Newkirk said Jent will be remembered for how he lived it.

"Kind, positive, always be kind. Live life to the fullest," said Newkirk.

Carmel High School canceled afternoon swim practice for Jent's team Friday in light of the incident, and made counseling available for students and coaches.

The high school is encouraging any students who may be struggling to dial 988 to access a 24-hour hotline to talk to a live counselor.

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