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Community members mourning, honoring siblings killed in Wahoo crash

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 9:55 PM CDT
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WAHOO, Neb. (WOWT) - A majority of the Wahoo community on Wednesday evening could be found at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, sharing hugs, memories, and tears while honoring the three siblings killed in a crash on Tuesday night.

A day after Monica, James, and Andrew Chohon were killed Tuesday in a crash at the junction of Highways 77 and 109 near Wahoo, family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers came to the rosary service show their support.

“When something happens like this, something that’s totally unprepared, there’s nothing no one can say to you. There’s no words,” says Wahoo resident Elizabeth Pavlik. “But it’s the comfort of having the support around you and your family, it’s the most important thing to help somebody, a family, to get through this.”

Pavlik speaks from her own experience. Just three months ago, her son died in a crash on Highway 109, just before the intersection where the Chohons were killed on Tuesday.

“I was fortunate,” she says. “I had my son for 19 amazing years, and I want to be here tonight to support the family and do what I can do. Everybody was so good when the accident happened to my son - the support, the school, family and friends, so, I just wanted to be here for the family tonight,” Pavlik says.

Wednesday’s rosary service was organized by the local catholic school district’s crisis response team.

Tom Gerdes, who is a teacher and a member of the crisis response team says these events - though painful - really help the community.

“Just having the opportunity to come together and pray and pray for the families and pray for the people who died, it’s a great consolation, it’s a great source of strength,” he says.

Pavlik says while she is continuing to cope with the loss of her own son, she knows that if he were here, he would be helping the Chohon family, too.

“He would always say ‘fall down seven times, get up eight,’ and I know through this terrible trauma that happened with this family, my son would tell them to get up and move forward and God will give them the strength to do that.”

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