A little more than six-years after a crash claimed the life of a female Tri-Center High School student and injured three other teens, tragedy has again struck the school district.
Crisis response and grief counselors will be available for students of the Tri-Center School District today , as they process the death of a male classmate and the injury of three others that occurred during a crash Monday evening.
A Ford F-150 pickup truck carrying four male high school students crashed and rolled over off Railroad Highway at around 5:40-p.m., just northeast of Neola. Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker said the teens had just left track practice at Tri-Center High School when the single-vehicle crash happened.
The Sheriff says 14-year-old Gage Williams, of Neola, died from his injuries at Mercy CHI Hospital hospital. The driver of the vehicle, 18-year old Kael Karagianis and a passenger, 16-year old Jordan Macias, both of Neola, were also injured, and were also transported to Mercy CHI.
Sixteen-year old Kaden Karagianis, (the brother of Kael), was transported to Jennie Edmundson in Council Bluffs for treatment of injuries. The investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing. No citations have been issued at this time.
Some patrons of the district may remember a crash a few miles north of the Tri-Center/Neola High School campus on March 17th, 2010 that claimed the life of 14-year old Katie Dyer, of Honey Creek. That accident, which involved a car that rolled over numerous times, also resulted in injuries to the driver, 15-year old Samantha Reid, who was from Honey Creek, and her 16-year old passengers Cari Wilson and Chelsea Birtwell, both of whom at the time, were from Persia.
In that crash, two of the girls, including Dyer, were wearing seat belts, the other two were not. All four were ejected from the vehicle. Reid was driving with a school license, which allowed students who are 14 ½ years of age or older, to drive to-and-from school.
The superintendent of the Tri-Center Schools, Tony Weer, says they took action immediately Monday after learning the district’s students was killed in an accident.
“We were at the school late into the evening to meet with the students and talked with students and ensure that everybody had a chance, and somebody to process the situation with,” Weer says. “We began again early this morning with the crisis response team and counselors from the Green Hills AEA.”
Superintendent Weer says they will see how things go after today. He says they will meet with the crisis team throughout the day and then meet with the staff at the end of the day to see how the staff and students are doing, and then will make further plans.
(Reporting by Ric Hansen, KJAN, Atlantic)