Student who lost family told of crash during playORANGE CITY, Iowa (AP) — A college student from Sioux Falls who lost her entire family in a car crash was told about the accident during the intermission of a play at her Iowa school.
ORANGE CITY, Iowa (AP) — A college student from Sioux Falls who lost her entire family in a car crash was told about the accident during the intermission of a play at her Iowa school.
Greg Christy, president of Northwestern College, broke the news to Brittany Vollmer, a sophomore at the Orange City school who was watching the play.
"It was very painful to have to share such tragic news with one of our students. It's something that none of us would ever want to do," Christy tells the media.
The Saturday crash on Interstate 90 in South Dakota killed James and Julie Vollmer and their children, 16-year-old Alyssa and 13-year-old Caleb. Authorities say the car ended up in the median and wound up sliding down a snowy embankment and hitting a guard rail.
Christy said that after meeting with an Orange City police officer, they were able to find Brittany at the play and brought her into a private room.
"And after I had the facts straight about exactly what happened it became apparent that it was necessary for me to share the news with her," Christy said.
Staff members quickly took Brittany into their care to console her, Christy said.
"We're going to do everything in our power to help Brittany and that's what I told her; we would do everything in our power to help her not only now but going into the future," he said.
Jason Katsma, a junior at the Iowa college, said he waved at Brittany during intermission and thought it was strange that she wasn't around for the second half of the play.
"I can't put my mind around it," said Katsma, adding that he had called all of his own siblings just to say hello.
"I didn't really explain anything just told them I missed them and loved them," he said.
Jacob Gilleland, a junior, said: "I can't expect happiness or any type of comfort to come out of this, but I just hope she knows that she's loved and knows that there is a huge community of people here just wishing her the best."
A fund has been established through Northwestern College and Sioux Falls Christian Schools to assist Brittany with future education-related expenses.