ORDWAY, Colo. - A teenager from Ordway was one of six people killed in a deadly crash near Kit Carson Thursday. Jeremy Franks, 17, was raised in Ordway, but had been staying with a foster father and going to school in Eads.
Community members in Ordway said Franks had a tendency to get into trouble growing up which was why he went to live with a foster family. They said, since then, Franks had turned his life around.
Franks' father, Bobby Franks, told KRDO Newschannel 13 that his son was on the football team, involved in church and had just gotten back from a missionary trip in Guatemala.
His friends said they saw a big change in Franks in the last year.
"He started going to church and doing better in his life," said Brandon Gann, who knew Franks since kindergarten. "It surprised me. I was actually glad that he did that. I was proud of him."
Gann said students at his high school were devastated when Franks death was announced during the homecoming pep rally.
The deadly crash happened early Thursday on Highway 287 when the van carrying Franks and 12 others collided into the back of an animal trailer, a few miles from Kit Carson. The driver of the truck had minor injuries, and there were no animals in the trailer.
Also killed in the crash were Austyn Atkinson, 11, Tony Mitchell, 4, Andrew Dawson, 13 and Howard Mitchell, 57. State Troopers said Mitchell was a foster parent to the children in his van. They were on their way to school when the accident occurred.