Community mourns the loss of four Gretna students killed in crash

Published: Jun. 19, 2019 at 2:56 AM CDT
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The community of Gretna is in mourning and communities from across Nebraska are showing their support. Four Gretna High School students were killed in a fiery, single-vehicle crash late Monday night.

As of Wednesday morning, the names of the teens have not been released by officials. The Sheriff's Office said all of the girls were 15 or 16 years old.

The Sheriff's Office and Gretna Public Schools officials say they will hold a joint press conference to release more information, but have not said when that press conference will happen.

About 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, classmates and friends drove to the site of the crash, where they planned to place flowers to start a memorial, but Sarpy County deputies asked them to leave, telling the students the roads out there were just too dangerous.

Back at the high school, other students gathered to mourn. Gretna school officials say the five girls were very close friends all attended Gretna High School.

"We all kind of knew these girls, and it's just something that hurts everyone."

Mia Huffman and Maddie Peterson are friends of the victims and are students from Millard West. The two left flowers at the crash site — a reminder of what happened there and a memorial to their friends.

"I was just like, 'it couldn't be real.' I don't know. It shouldn't happen to anyone."

"I just, like, was so shocked and just, like, shaky," Maddie said. "I know everyone thinks, like, I think that everyone's invincible. It really does happen, and this is, so, like, an eye-opener."

People packed into St. Patrick's Church in Gretna on Tuesday night, as friends and fellow classmates shared memories.

"We'll never forget [her] ever. It's just amazing how many lives she touched, she's younger than half of us here and touched way more lives than we could," fellow students said at the vigil and prayer service.

A fifth girl was injured in the crash. 10/11 NOW has been working to get an update on her condition.

Grief counselors will be at the high school to help students cope with the tragic events.

GHS Principal Roger Miller sent a letter to parents Tuesday with some information about the crash:

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 Dear GHS Parents, I was informed last night that five of our high school students were involved in an accident at 180th and Platteview Rd. Four of these students were pronounced dead at the scene while a fifth was sent to St. Elizabeth’s in Lincoln. Names have not been released yet to the public by the sheriff’s office so I cannot share that information with you at this time. Our school crisis team met earlier this morning. The High School building will be open today starting at 8:30 a.m. with counselors available for any students.

There is also a

. Organizers of the page said the money will go to the five families.