The drowning deaths of two Savannah teenagers shook the Northwest Missouri community in November.
Savannah High School juniors Andre Lance and Tyler Brandt, both 17, died Nov. 22 after the pair reportedly walked on an ice-covered pond in a private farm field. The ice apparently broke beneath the two, causing the teens to drown.
Shortly before 7:30 p.m., the Andrew County Sheriff’s Department received information from family members after the teens had failed to return home that evening. Andrew County Sheriff Bryan Atkins previously told the News-Press that deputies knew the pair’s last known location, near a rural field around along County Road 153.
Authorities discovered the teens’ vehicle near the farm pond that had a large, noticeable hole in the ice. Law enforcement located the bodies of the teens under roughly two inches of ice.
“We haven’t gotten the completed autopsy back, but the initial cause of death was fresh-water drowning,” Mr. Atkins said, adding that law enforcement was awaiting complete toxicology reports for final determination. “This really was a tragedy when the two of them made poor choices that day as far as walking out on it, but it has just been a tragedy for the whole community.”
The friends’ deaths affected the entire community as friends and family members believed the two teens balanced each other out. Mr. Lance, described as the outgoing school mascot, and Mr. Brant, described as a student with strong mechanical know-how, made for understated “good kids” whom the community continues to miss.
“I don’t think anyone is ever going to be able to put all the bits and pieces together or answer or get over the shock of it,” Mr. Atkins said. “I think some of their friends will have a longtime struggle with it, even at their graduation when they see two empty seats next year.
“I just don’t think anyone will forget them.”