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Counseling Being Offered to Epworth Students

DUBUQUE COUNTY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- School officials in Dubuque County are assisting students as they mourn the loss of four young friends, killed while riding in a Gator utility vehicle on Saturday.

On Monday afternoon, Western Dubuque High School Principal Dave Hoeger released a statement saying, "The entire Western Dubuque community has been playing a very important role by supporting the families of the four boys who died in the accident last weekend.  The students and their parents have been gathering to allow everyone a chance to talk about their thoughts and emotions.  For many of our young adults, they have not experienced a loss like this and so if they can be with adults, they can get help in this grieving process.  

Our school counselors have also been helping students in this process.  We can provide accurate information to the students and help them understand typical responses people have when grieving.  By providing students with available resources, in a safe, non-judgmental place to talk, we hope to assist them in the grieving process."

The victims were identified as Bryce Wilwert, 14, of Epworth, Sean Kenneally, 14, of Peosta, Mitchell Kluesner, 14, of Epworth and Nicholas Kramer, 14, of Dyersville.

The crash happened just after 1:30 PM at the intersection of Hartebecke Road and East Pleasant Grove Road.

The Dubuque County Sheriff's Department says Joe Connelly, 24, of Holly Cross was behind the wheel of the pickup truck when he failed to come to a stop at a stop sign when he collided with the utility vehicle, killing all four occupants.

Connelly was unharmed in the crash.

There is still no word on whether any charges will be filed.
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