Two communities, two campuses mourn boys in I-65 crash

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - For students at Angola High School, the shock is finally starting to sink in. Four of their friends will never walk across the school's campus again.

"It's hard to put it into words and sometimes I get choked up," says Angola High School Principal Steve Grill.

Grill addressed students and faculty, assuring them that crisis management teams are available for grief counseling. For now, flags fly at half staff and flowers grace the school--constant reminders of the four lives cut short.

"It's a loss for words. It's really hard to even know what to say in a time like this except that you're just sorry," says Angola resident, Trishia Berquist.

School administrators say Alexx Bauer, Riley Zimmer, Evan Weaver, and Matt Roe were all athletes with promising college careers.

"They were in the wrong place at the wrong time, not by anything they had done, not by their choosing, just a simple blink," says Angola resident Julie Hewes.

That blink also took Troy University student Niall McNellis.

Dean of Students Herbert Reeves says McNellis was a sophomore math major and his mother is a professor in the education school there.

"Anytime you lose a student it's a somber day around campus. We certainly give the family our best and our thoughts are with them. We're going to do whatever we can do to support them," says Reeves.

"Everyone is suffering, I know that...and our's just really difficult to let a friend go," adds Grill.

Memorial services are being planned for this Thursday in both Angola and Troy. A memorial scholarship fund was opened for the Angola boys. It's called "Four-ever Friends 2011."

Copyright 2011 WSFA. All rights reserved.