Angola Teens Killed; Coping With Tragedy

By John W. Davis
By Krystal Shull
By Nicole Hahn
By Scott Sarvay
By Megan Trent

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March 27, 2011 Updated Oct 22, 2013 at 10:14 AM EDT

UPDATE: ANGOLA, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Classmates and community members remain in shock after the tragic death of four Angola High School seniors.

Principal Steve Grill held a press conference Monday afternoon to address the corporation's crisis management plan. Grief counselors and local religious leaders were on hand for students and staff who wished to talk.

A memorial for students and family will be held at the school on Thursday from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. A community calling will be at Trine University in Angola from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Donations can be sent to the "Fourever Friends 2011" memorial scholarship fund through the Steuben County Community Foundation.

Grill says, "These young people contributed a lot during their short time on this earth and in such a noteworthy way. It's just sad because they had so much to offer."

Trisha Bergquist owns the Bent Fork Art Studio in Angola. She says, "I think it definitely has affected the whole community. I know with it being such a small town and so close, I know we will all do whatever it takes to help comfort and support in whatever way we can."

Julie Hewes teaches preschool in Angola. She says, "I just feel so sad for the families - just heartbreak for the families. My own daughter was traveling back from Florida at the very same time."

A second car of girls was traveling with the boys, but were ahead of the crash and did not realize what had happened until several hours later.

For all the latest details, please view the accompanying video from our newscast and continue to check INCNOW.TV.


Students and staff members returning to Angola High School Monday can get help as they deal with the tragic deaths of four students.

Grief counselors will be at the school to provide assistance.

Principal Steve Grill will also address the incident during a news conference Monday afternoon.

Seniors Alexx Bauer, Matthew Roe, Evan Weaver and Riley Zimmer, all 18-years-old, were killed in a head-on crash on I-65 in Alabama, about 25 miles north of Montgomery, on Saturday.

"The calls they received yesterday were the calls that's our greatest nightmare as parents and grandparents," said Angola Mayor Dick Hickman.

The crash also killed a fifth person, 21-year-old Niall McNellis from Troy, Alabama.

McNellis' was driving the minivan that crossed the median and slammed head-on into Bauer, Roe, Weaver and Zimmer.

Dozens of Angola High School students have commented about the tragedy on twitter.

One wrote, " RIP Alexx, Riley Zimmer, Matt Roe, and Evan Weaver. I've lost a few of my brothers. But we will all meet again in heaven. One love."

Meanwhile, community leaders shared their feelings with Indiana's NewsCenter.

"I feel really bad for the parents who lost their child in a tragic accident like this. I don't think there's any words that can explain it," said Angola Police Chief Stu Hamblen.

"These were pretty good young guys that come from good families. They were gonna be good people in whatever community they ended up in. Whether they stayed her or moved on somewhere else they were gonna make a difference in the world," said Mayor Hickman.

No word on what caused the crash.

However, Indiana's NewsCenter's Montgomery, Alabama affiliates reported severe weather in Clanton, Alabama around the time the fatal crash occurred.

A prayer vigil was held Sunday night at the Angola United Methodist Church.

A memorial scholarship has been set up in the memories of the four young men. The scholarship will be named "FOUREVER FRIENDS 2011 MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP."

Memorials for the scholarship can be made out in the name of the Scholarship and mailed to the Community Foundation. Memorials can also be done on the Steuben County Community Foundations website. Please specify "FOUREVER FRIENDS 2011 MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP".


Media Release from the Alabama Department of Public Safety

Chilton County Crash Kills Five, Injures Three

Montgomery – At approximately 3:05 p.m. Saturday, a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 65 near the 199 mile marker claimed the lives of a Troy man and four Indiana teens, as well as injuring a woman and two children.

Niall McNellis, 21, of Troy was killed when the 2005 Chrysler he was driving left I-65 South, crossed the median and entered northbound traffic. McNellis’ vehicle struck a 2009 Ford Taurus driven by Matthew Zimmer, 18, of Angola, Ind. Zimmer and the three passengers in the Ford were killed. The passengers were Evan Weaver, 18; Matthew Roe, 18; and Alexx Bauer, 18, all of Angola, Ind.

The driver of the third vehicle and her two children received non-life threatening injuries and were transported to an area hospital for treatment. Alabama State Troopers continue to investigate this crash.


Press Release from Angola High School

Steve Grill, Principal

March 27, 2011

It is with profound sadness that we announce the loss of four young men who were members of the senior class at Angola High School: Alexx Bauer, Matt Roe, Evan Weaver, and Riley Zimmer. They were involved in a tragic auto accident on Saturday, March 26th in Alabama while traveling home from spring break. The Angola High School Crisis Management Team has been meeting today to plan for the needs of students and staff throughout the coming week. Angola High School Principal Steve Grill will hold a press conference Monday, March 28th at 1:00 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of these fine young men.

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