Classmates mourn teens killed in Green County crash

Sheriff: 3 killed, 1 in critical condition
Classmates mourn teens killed in Green County crash

Classmates of three Monroe High School students killed in a Friday afternoon crash in southern Green County continued to mourn Saturday, as a community remains in shock over the teenagers’ deaths.

A makeshift memorial was set up at the crash site, located at the intersection of Clarno and Melvin roads in the town of Clarno. Numerous classmates and community members laid candles and flowers at the site throughout the day Saturday.

Deputies said a car was traveling west on Melvin Road when it failed to stop at the intersection and collided with a truck. The Green County Sheriff’s Office said three Monroe High School students were in a sedan when the one driving failed to stop at a stop sign and hit a northbound Chevrolet Suburban driven by a 35-year-old rural Monroe woman.

Three people were taken by medical helicopters to UW Hospital, and another was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two teenage boys and a teenage girl died, Green County Sheriff Mark Rohloff said. Rohloff said the rural Monroe woman is in critical condition.

Deputies said speed was a factor in the crash.

Monroe High School offered grief counseling and canceled scheduled weekend activities following the crash.

Sophomore Megan Meir, one of the many classmates who visited the crash site to pay their respects, said she and others at Monroe High are heartbroken over the loss.

“They were liked by many,” Meir said. “It’s just hard to see something happen so fast to people we love.”

Sgt. Britt Gempeler, one of the Green County deputies on the scene of the crash Friday, said while law enforcement frequently comes across tragedy, the nature of the crash made it particularly difficult for first responders. Now, he says, the community is showing an outpouring of support for the grieving families.

“(There’s) a lot of empathy for the families, just trying to come together and grieve together,” Gempeler said.

Meir said it will be tough for her and her classmates to go to school after what happened.

“We’re all like a big family,” Meir said. “I’m going to miss them very much.”

The Monroe School District organized a vigil to remember the teens at the downtown Monroe courthouse Saturday night.