A deadly rollover crash involving four Tri Center High School students on Monday has the school in mourning.
Dr. Tony Weers, superintendent of Tri Center Community School District, says grief counseling sessions started the day of the crash and lasted until midnight.
On Tuesday, grief counselors from Green Hills Area Education Agency returned to help students cope with the death of Gage Williams, 14. Authorities say Jordan Macias, 16, Kayden Kargianis, 16, and his older brother, Kael Karagianis, 18, were also injured.
“I think to describe the [school's] vibe as what would be expected of a tragedy like this in mourning and loss -- spend time together as a Tri Center family,” Weers says.
According to the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched Mar. 21 to Rail Road Highway around 5:40 p.m. where they found a 1998 Ford F-150 pickup on its top. Deputies say Keal Karagianis lost control of the truck and it may have rolled one time before coming to a rest in a farm field.
Neola Fire and Rescue crews found the boys suffering from various states of injuries and transported them to nearby hospitals.
As news spread around school, trained therapists were on hand for grieving students.
Some students walked throughout campus with counselors while others processed their grief differently.
"We got kids talking in groups. We got kids talking individually – to process and get though their emotions of this day,” Weers says.
In less than 24 hours, the four students had been at school all day. Prior to the crash, the boys had just left track practice.
The details of the crash has devastated this small town.
“Our elementary principal shared with our staff this morning, this is the kind of day where we need to get together – through together as a Tri Center family,” Weers says. “So we're all leaning on each other today to get though this.”
For previous coverage, see below:
Authorities ID teen killed, 3 others injured in Pottawattamie County crash
1 teen dead, 3 injured in rollover crash near Neola, Iowa