Blake Shelton Pays Tribute to 6 Teens Killed in Car Crash in His Okla. Town: 'Unthinkable'

Blake Shelton owns a ranch in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, where six female high school students died in a car accident on Tuesday

Blake Shelton
Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty

The tragic Oklahoma car accident that killed six high school students in Tishomingo on Tuesday hit close to home for resident Blake Shelton, who paid tribute to the young victims in a new statement.

The country star, 45, mourned the deaths of the six teenage girls in a heartfelt message that referenced his own loss of his 24-year-old brother Richie in a car crash in 1990.

"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," Shelton said in a statement shared with PEOPLE. "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."

"There's no question it will take a long time to heal from this tragedy. Keep the prayers coming," Wednesday's statement concluded.

The Voice coach owns a ranch in the small city of Tishomingo, which is home to just over 3,000 people.

Students Killed Oklahoma
NewsNation KFOR via AP

Tragedy struck on Tuesday afternoon when the girls' small passenger vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer.

The teens, all students at Tishomingo High School, were reportedly on their way to lunch off-campus when the incident occurred at the intersection of U.S. Highway 377 and State Highway 22, NBC News reported.

Although their identities have not been released, the students were all teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17, according to an Oklahoma Department of Public Safety crash report obtained by PEOPLE.

RELATED VIDEO: Blake Shelton Brings 6-Year-Old Boy in Need of Heart Transplant Up on Stage for Duet

"Our prayers are with each of the families involved and our community. This is an absolute tragedy which will have lifelong effects," the Johnston County Oklahoma Sheriff's Office said on Facebook. "This community and families need our support and prayers at this time."

The driver and front-seat passenger were the only occupants wearing seatbelts in the 2015 Chevrolet Spark, which is only meant to seat four people, according to The Oklahoman.

"They were happy girls, for sure," friend Zay Kemp told the paper. "They were a mood brightener."

Shelton, meanwhile, has been open about the pain he's faced following the loss of his brother, who died when the singer was just 14 years old.

"I remember picking up the phone to call him a week after he was dead, to tell him something. I was picking up the phone to call him, to tell him something I just saw on TV or, and it was like constantly a shock to me that he was dead," Shelton said in a 60 Minutes interview in 2014.

The Grammy-nominated country star wrote the 2011 song "Over You" with then-wife Miranda Lambert as a tribute to Richie.

Related Articles