Audubon School District Grieving After Losing Two Students In Car Crash

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AUDUBON, Iowa — A western Iowa school district is heartbroken after a highway crash took the life of two brothers.  In a statement to WHO-TV, Audubon Community School Superintendent Brett Gibbs said, “The Audubon Community School and the Audubon Community is struggling to come to terms with the tragic loss of Jamison Steckler, and 8th grader and his brother Gavin Steckler, a 5th grader as the result of a car accident yesterday on Interstate 80.”  Gibbs also described the two students as very involved in the community, “Jamison and Gavin were wonderful students, classmates and teammates who were actively involved in school athletic and music activities. The Steckler family as a whole are very involved in school, community and church activities touching lives throughout the greater Audubon area.”

Sergeant Nathan Ludwig with the Iowa State Patrol says a multiple vehicle crash has killed three and sent eight more to the hospital.  41 year old Rodney Sanborn of Nebraska, 11 year old Gavin Steckler and 14 year old Jameson Steckler, both of Audubon, Iowa all died from the crash.  The Iowa State Patrol says the crash happened around 9 a.m. Saturday on Interstate 80 in Cass County, near Anita.  A semi-truck lost control and crossed the median and collided with an eastbound mini-van traveling in the right lane.  The semi then jackknifed and came to rest in a ditch. The third vehicle collided with the trailer.

Gibbs said the boys’ parents, Toby and Pamela Steckler and 4th grade brother Mason were also injured in the wreck.  Audubon Community School staff met Sunday to discuss a plan that will allow students to receive the proper support needed as they deal with the loss of two classmates.  “Our number one duty will be to make sure that we are prepared for Monday morning as a little over 500 students will be looking to us for help dealing with this terrible loss,” said Gibbs.  A Safe room will be set up in both District buildings on Monday  which will be staffed with school counselors, members of the Ministerial Organization along with professionals from Heartland Area Education Association.  Gibbs says a statement will be read to students at the beginning of the school day.