Iola mourning loss of 13-year-old girl in car crash
IOLA, Texas (KBTX) - The town of Iola is mourning after a 13-year-old girl was killed in a car crash on Wednesday night around 8:15 p.m.
The Texas Department of Public Safety told KBTX a 1997 GMC Yukon was traveling southbound on FM 39, went off the roadway, over corrected, and started to overturn. That’s when the driver and back seat passenger were ejected from the car.
The 13-year-old girl, the rear seat passenger, was pronounced dead on the scene by Grimes County Justice of the Peace Chris Acord. The driver of the GMC, a 17-year-old boy, was taken to St. Joseph Regional Health Hospital and treated for his injuries. The front seat passenger, a 16-year-old girl, was not injured.
Don Sowell has held the title of Grimes County Sheriff for over 24 years. Throughout his years, and even before taking his role as sheriff, Sowell has seen many tragedies unfold. But, the fatality on Sept. 21 hit him harder than normal.
“I grew up with the little one’s grandfather. I know the mom, dad, grandparents. I know the whole family,” said Sowell. “They are just a great family. So involved in the county. Great people, and no one deserves this.”
Sheriff Sowell said the three kids are siblings and they had just gotten out of a church event.
“The survivors...Now, I just can’t imagine what they will have to go through when they are healing,” Sowell said. “That’s going to take a lot of counseling. Bless their hearts.”
The children involved in the crash are students at Iola ISD. When the district got word of the incident, they opened up their doors to all students and staff to have a safe space to grieve.
Iola ISD cancelled the junior high football game and National Honor Society ceremony scheduled for Thursday night. The district announced they will continue as planned with the district volleyball game between Iola and Centerville tomorrow at 4 p.m. Centerville ISD requested their fans to wear maroon to support Iola through this difficult time.
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