Wamego track coach remembers victim of fatal crash

WAMEGO, Kan. (KSNT) – Rick Patton, the track coach at Wamego High School, found out about the death of his assistant coach, Lance Lenard, yesterday afternoon.

“I come out of class and there were some kids out there with another teacher and this girl had her phone and she said, ‘Lance Lenard passed away.’ And that’s how I found out.”

Lance Lenard was one of four victims in a fatal car wreck. It happened just before 7:30 a.m. in the westbound lanes of U.S. Highway 24 and Humphrey Road. He was driving his 13-year-old son, Kade, who continues his recovery as the sole survivor.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says three Silver Lake went off the shoulder, over corrected and struck Lenard’s vehicle.

Those three Silver Lake students were identified as 17-year-old Devin Greeve, the driver, 11-year-old Gaby Greeve and 14-year-old Tyler Crouse.

Rick Patton now recalls Lenard’s dedication to track and his family.

“Lance was a ‘bigger than life’ guy,” he says. “He was a guy who had so much energy- he was the kind of guy who lived life to the fullest.”

He also told us that he wanted students to reach their full potential as track athletes. Lance had been the assistant coach for six years at the school but his love for track stretched beyond Wamego High School. He was also the head of the Northeast Kansas Track Club.

We received this statement from the group:

“Thank you for your interest and we remind everyone politely to respect the families privacy and there will be a memorial service schedule at a later date which will include current and former athletes and you will be invited to attend, film and interview people who loved and respected Coach Lance at that time. This will the family to process this tragic loss and hopefully they will be able to contribute accordingly if they so wish. Thank you and you will hear from us soon.” The NEK Board

“He probably knew more about track in his finger than I knew in my whole body.”

Patton says he considered canceling cross country practice this morning.

“But Lance wouldn’t have none of that.”

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