Oklahoma-born singer Blake Shelton pays tribute to six girls killed in ‘unthinkable’ car crash

‘Keep the prayers coming’

<p>Blake Shelton performing at the 2019 ACM Awards</p>

Blake Shelton performing at the 2019 ACM Awards

Country singer Blake Shelton has been the latest to pay tribute to six teenage girls who were killed in an “unthinkable” car crash near his home in Oklahoma.

The singer, who reportedly owns a 1,300 acre ranch in Tishomingo, southern Oklahoma, told People in a statement on Wednesday that the six girls’ deaths were a “tragedy”.

“In the wake of yesterday’s unthinkable crash in our small town of Tishomingo, we as a community have all been in shock and broken-hearted,” said Mr Shelton, who was born in Oklahoma.

“I personally know the devastation of suddenly losing a loved one in a car accident. But our community is strong and has come together to support and wrap our arms around the families and friends that are hurting the most,” he continued, referencing the death of his brother, aged 24.

“There’s no question it will take a long time to heal from this tragedy,” said Mr Shelton in the statement. “Keep the prayers coming”.

His comments came amid tributes to the six Tishomingo High School students who were travelling in a four-seater car on Tuesday afternoon when they collided with a semi-truck.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said in an incident report on Wednesday that the students were making a right turn in a 2015 Chevrolet Spark when they crashed into a semi-truck.

Its driver, 51-year-old Valendon Burton, was not injured.

Friends and family of the six girls have meanwhile identified the teenagers as Gracie Machado, Brooklyn Triplett, Austin Holt, Madison Robertson, Addison Gratz and Memory Wilson, as Daily Mail reported on Thursday.

Tishomingo High School’s superintendent said in an update on Thursday that his priority was to support students emotionally and mentally in the wake of the tragedy, and that his school would be “forever grateful” to all those who have sent messages of support.

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