Four Iowa teens killed in crash after 'having fun as a team'

A rural Iowa community is remembering four 14-year-old boys killed in a crash Saturday as they were coming from a parade celebrating civic pride and family values.

The boys were at an intersection outside of Epworth at about 1:30 p.m. when their John Deere Gator utility vehicle was struck by a pick-up pulling a livestock trailer. Authorities say the driver of the pick-up failed to stop at a stop sign.

The four boys, Sean Kenneally, Mitchell Kluesner, Nicholas Kramer and Bryce Wilwert, spent Saturday morning filling water balloons before the Epworth Town & Country Days parade, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald reported Sunday.

Kenneally, Kluesner and Wilwert were on the wrestling team, which had a float in the parade, part of a three-day community celebration in Epworth. The kids on the wrestling float toss the water balloons back and forth with people along the parade route.

“They were having fun as a team — and then this,” Paul Cleary, the wrestling coach at Western Dubuque High School in Epworth, told the newspaper.

The four boys just graduated Drexler Middle School.

“They were highly active, loved the outdoors and were the kinds of kids who were friends with everyone,” Drexler Principal Mary Jane Maher told the Telegraph Herald. “They were popular, positive kids who were incredibly outgoing. They were the kind of kids teachers love to have in class.”

The driver of the pick-up, Joe Connolly, 24, of rural Holy Cross, was not injured. His two passengers were treated for minor injuries.

The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department said it was investigating and working with prosecutors on what charges may be filed.

Click for the story from the Dubuque Telegraph Herald.