Tragedy struck Blake Shelton’s Oklahoma home town of Tishomingo on Tuesday (March 22) when six teen girls were killed in a car accident while on their school lunch break.
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, the country singer paid tribute to those who were killed, and referenced the loss of his own brother, Richie, who died at the age of 24 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. 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,” Shelton wrote. “There’s no question it will take a long time to heal from this tragedy. Keep the prayers coming.”
The teens, all female students at Tishomingo High School, were reported to be riding in a 2015 Chevy Spark on their way to lunch when they collided with a tractor-trailer.