Westwood High School students and residents of the northwest Iowa town are showing support for five wrestlers and their coach by becoming blood donors. Nearly 100 people registered to give blood Wednesday and Heather Marreel, with the Siouxland Blood Bank, says that doubled what was expected.
"To see a community like this really rally around their own and make something positive out of a tragic situation, it was really nice to see," Marreel said. On November 8th, the wrestlers and their coach were driving to a wrestling clinic when their SUV collided head-on with van on Highway 141 near Hornick.
The driver of the van, 53-year-old Bradley Haburn of Spencer, was killed in the crash. Two wrestlers, 18-year-old Jordan Mitchell and 16-year-old Sage Washburn, have been released the hospital. The coach, 26-year-old Daniel Thompson, and three other wrestlers remain at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City. They are: 16-year-old Trent Baker, 16-year-old Adam Greeno and 15-year-old Blake Jorgensen.
Marrell says many people said they haven’t donated blood in several years and now’s a good time for others to roll up their sleeves and follow suit. "The holiday time tends to be a little bit crazier of a time, people are very busy and donating blood doesn’t always make it to the top of their to do list," Marrell said. "We really want folks to reach out and help others that are in need."
Students and staff at Westwood High have also donated money and food to the crash victim’s families. This Sunday, a pancake breakfast to benefit the victims will take place at Westwood High School. For information, call 712-428-3355.