Missouri parents devastated at loss of both their children in head-on crash

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CASS COUNTY, Mo. (WDAF) --  A Missouri couple lost their two children in a head-on accident Tuesday.

Sixteen-year-old Tommy Yates and 12-year-old Jenna Yates were killed on a highway near Strasburg, Missouri.

"You just never expect to be burying your babies," their mother, Kara Yates, said with tears in her eyes. "You can never prepare yourself for this."

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol's crash report, Tommy veered off the road, over-corrected his vehicle, crossed the center line and hit another vehicle before going off the road.

His parents said he had just gotten his driver's license in December.

"We thought it was good practice for him because it was daytime, close. I mean he was a fresh driver, but it was five miles down the road," their father, Ernest Yates, said in an emotional interview.

Tommy was a sophomore at Lone Jack High School, and Jenna was a sixth-grader at Strasburg's K-8 school. Both loved sports.

"Tommy played football, baseball, basketball. Jenna was into basketball. She was starting volleyball for the first time. She did boxing, softball," Ernest Yates said.

Tommy and Jenna are being remembered by classmates who have started memorials in their honors.

"I know it's every mothers' greatest fear when they have children, it is. I just never thought it'd be both of them," Kara said.

Funeral arrangements have not been made yet.

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