By Lena Sullivan Published 03/28/2011 03:18:00 | Views: 6325

Four Indiana high school students returning from a spring break trip have been killed in a horror crash in Alabama.

The four boys, one of whom had been their school's quarterback,  all died when a mini-van driven by another man drifted across the meridian and hit them head on.

He also died in the crash and several people in a third car were injured.

Corporal Steve Smith with the Alabama State Troopers says the four teens were Matthew Riley Zimmer, Evan Weaver, Matthew Roe and Alexx Bauer.

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Killed: Matt Roe, 18, with an unidentified female friend, in his Facebook profile image

Killed: Matt Roe, 18, with an unidentified female friend, in his Facebook profile image

 

Evan Weaver Niall McNellis

Tragic: Left, Evan Weaver; and right, Niall McNellis, both in their Facebook profiles, also died in the crash

Promising career: Alexx Bauer, another victim of the crash. He had been the quarterback on the school's football team

Promising career: Alexx Bauer, another victim of the crash. He had been the quarterback on the school's football team

The 18-year-olds were from Angola, Indiana, a small community near the Michigan state line. They all attended the same high school.

Bauer and Zimmer played for the Angola High School football team. In 2010 Bauer was the quarterback of the team, a position that would have made him a school hero.

Today, as word of the deaths spread, many students at the school had updated their Facebook status simply with a full stop '.', in apparent tribute to their classmates.

Twenty-one-year-old Niall McNellis of Troy, Alabama, also died in the crash around 3 pm Saturday.

An initial investigation indicates Mr McNellis was driving south on Interstate 65 just south of Clanton, Alabama, when his mini van crossed the median and hit the car driven by Mr Zimmer head-on as the teens drove north.

It was unclear if bad weather that passed through the area contributed to the wreck. Hail and possible tornadoes were reportedly occurring near the scene.

A message on the football team's website said the members 'thoughts and prayers' were with all the students' families.

'We will never forget you,' the message read.

Head coach Luke Amstutz said the four were 'wonderful kids'.

Bits of metal stick up around the mangled remains of the silver van as it lies by the highway yesterday

Bits of metal stick up around the mangled remains of the silver van as it lies by the highway yesterday

Principal Steve Grill told The News-Sun of Kendallville, Indiana, that a crisis team was meeting Sunday afternoon to make plans for how to deal with the deaths when classes resume Monday.

'It's a lightning strike out of the blue. It's going to be devastating to a lot of people,' Grill said.

Along with the full stops on Facebook, other students left messages and tributes to the teens.

Brady Tribble wrote: 'just incomprehensible. don't even know what to think right now. prayers go out to the families and everyone like me struggling to understand what and why this has happened. r.i.p. boys you will all be missed'

Alabama state trooper Steve Smith said the crash happened near the 199.5 mile marker on I-65, about 25 miles north of Montgomery, in Chilton County

Alabama state trooper Steve Smith said the crash happened near the 199.5 mile marker on I-65, about 25 miles north of Montgomery, in Chilton County

His comment was 'liked' by 24 people.

Later he added: '"yea, though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." - Psalm 23. Picked up my Bible today wiped off the dust and opened it up for the first time in way too long. As hard as it may be to understand why this has happened, we can all find strength in God today in prayer and through doing what i did, opening up the old book'

Then he joined his fellow students in the '.' tribute. 

Another, Michael Armstrong, posted a YouTube video of J.Cole's song Farewell on Evan Weaver's page. 'Love you man' he wrote.

Investigators are also examining if weather played a role in the crash amid reports of hail in the area

Investigators are also examining if weather played a role in the crash amid reports of hail in the area

As quarterback, Bauer gave an interview to a local sports reporter that was posted in YouTube in which he discussed the success of his team.

Squinting in the sun and appearing slightly uncomfortable on camera, he was matter of fact about his team's success.

'It just carries over from last year,' he said. 'We have just about everybody back.'

As for what it would take to score another victory in an upcoming game, he replied: 'Focus like every week, and work hard like every week, and determination, just like every other week.'

See video from the crash here, and Alexx Bauer's YouTube interview below

 

 

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By Lena Sullivan 03/28/2011 03:18:00
 
 
 
 

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