Parkston community mourns loss of teenage girl killed in crash

Published: Aug. 16, 2019 at 7:45 PM CDT
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People from the Parkston area made their way to a narrow road just west of town.

That's where they saw the disheartening sight of a fatal crash, the muddy hole, skid marks and the smokey smell of the burned crash scene. It all confirms that a young life, of one of their own, has been taken.

Next Tuesday the hallways of the Parkston schools may not be filled the normal exciting sounds of the first day of school. The community instead is planning for the funeral of a 15-year-old who died Thursday afternoon on a dirt road just west of town.

Chief of Police Corrinna Wagner was on EMT duty when she responded to the crash Thursday just after 2:30 p.m.

"The dedication of everyone that's come together, whether you are on the fire department, first responder, our doctors, nurses, hospital staff, did a very outstanding job professionally dealing with kids coming in that everybody knows," Wagner said.

According to the Department of Public Safety, the 15-year-old was driving on this road, hit a muddy area, and rolled the vehicle. After the vehicle came to rest, it then started on fire.

As the loss of a teenage girl ripples through the Parkston area, the community is taking care of their own. Pastor Tammy Craker of the Salem Lutheran Church in Parkston joined school staff with the heavy task of telling students who were at practice at school.

"Their world is built around those friends that they have," Craker said. "Especially in a small community like this. Life is hard but there is hope in the end."

Two of the passengers, a 15-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy, were flown to a Sioux Falls hospital. A 16-year-old boy was taken to a Parkston hospital.

The name of the teenage girl who died in the crash has not been released, pending notification of relatives.