Community visits memorial for Gretna teens killed in crash

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GRETNA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Car after car pulled over Thursday night to view the memorial displayed for four Gretna High School girls taken too soon.

"This community has lost four great kids,” said Digger Hawkins, Gretna High School's soccer coach.

Emotions were released where the Gretna community was grieving: the site where they lost four loved ones just a few days ago.

"You treat them as if they're your own children, so it's tough,” Hawkins said.

Four Gretna High School students died and another was seriously injured late Monday night after their vehicle left the road, smashed into a guardrail, and caught fire in a ravine at Platteview Road and 180th Street.

The Sarpy County Sheriff said 15-year-old Alex Minardi, 16-year-old Addisyn Pfeifer, 16-year-old Kloe Odermatt, and 16-year-old Abby Barth, the driver of the vehicle, died at the scene.

Roan Brandon, 15, is the lone survivor of the crash.

"I was like, 'Abby who? Alex who? Who are you talking about?' and they gave me their last names and that's when I broke down,” said Mackenzie Beeson, Abby and Alex’s dance teammate and friend. She mourned at the girls' memorial, not wanting to believe the pair are no longer here.

But Mackenzie said she believes their infectious smiles are side-by-side someplace else.

"They did everything together," Mackenzie said. "They were inseparable and I'm sure that's how they are now."

Hawkins retraced the steps where officers found his star junior player, Addisyn Pfeifer. He is forced to deal with a new reality that the next time his team takes the field, it won't be the same without her.

"I give my word to honor Addisyn for the next two years,” Hawkins said. "She'll be with us as a part of our team for the next two years and beyond.”

The family of Roan Brandon said she's doing well in the hospital, calling her "a fighter and an incredibly lucky girl."

They say she'll have surgery on a broken clavicle in the next week and skin grafts for her burns after that.

They said the four girls all brought "love, light, and laughter" to Roan’s world, and that she now has “four angels pushing her forward.”