OMAHA, Nebraska - Sarpy County authorities have identified the victims of the fiery crash late Monday night that killed four Gretna High School girls and injured a fifth. Gretna is located just southwest of Omaha, Nebraska.
16 year old Abigail Barth, 15 year old Alexandria Minardi, 16 year old Kloe Odermatt and 16 year old Addisyn Pfeifer died at the scene after their vehicle hit a guardrail and caught fire.
15 year old Roan Brandon was taken to St. Elizabeth’s in Lincoln with burns after the crash, and Sheriff Jeff Davis says she is expected to survive.
Sarpy County Sheriff Jeff Davis, Gretna Public Schools Supt. Kevin Riley, and Chief Deputy Bonnie Moore from the Sarpy County Attorney’s Office provided further details during a press conference Thursday afternoon at the Sheriff’s Office.
"Our collective heart in our community is shattered. We ache for the families on the behalf of the Gretna Public Schools," says superintendent Kevin Riley. "I want to extend our deepest sympathies to those families. These are good girls. They're smart girls. They are the closest of friends. They come from good families, the families that monitor their behavior closely," Riley said during an afternoon news conference.
"If you have ever had a 15- or 16-year-old daughter, you know you can't lock them in their room," he said. "You know you can't protect them from everything. And sometimes when kids get together accidents happen. Mistakes are made. We're in a nightmare we can't wake up from," he said. "It will take us awhile to smile or laugh again, but we will. We're at the beginning of a horrible experience. The road will twist and turn, but by the grace of God and love and support of friends and family we will heal."
Davis says speed was a factor in the crash and that Barth was driving. He says it's unclear where the girls were prior to the crash. The investigation continues.