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Community Mourns the Loss of Four Teens

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PEOSTA, Iowa — People in western Dubuque County are grieving the deaths of four teenage boys who died in a crash Saturday.

The boys were all 14-years-old. They would have started their freshman year at Western Dubuque High School this fall.

Authorities said the teens were riding a John Deere Gator utility vehicle when a pickup driven by 24-year-old Joseph Connolly ran a stop sign and hit them in rural Dubuque County. Three boys died at the scene. One died at the hospital.

Connolly wasn’t hurt. He has not been charged.

Late Monday afternoon, many people gathered for a service to remember the boys.

Sorrow, pain and tears filled St. John the Baptist Church in Peosta, but those in attendance weren’t crying alone. A community came together in this time of loss.

“Feels like a dream. I woke up yesterday and thought did that really happen? Why?” said Quinn Baumhover.

Friends of the boys are now gripping onto memories as they try to come to terms with what happened.

“There was nobody that didn’t like Mitchell. Mitchell would be everybody’s friend,” said Ethan Kronlage.

“I was with Mitchell and Sean, both, the night before they died. I just keep remembering that,” said Will O’Brien.

Everyone gathered to pray, but a country song called “The Boys of Fall” hit home for those realizing the emptiness that comes with losing these four boys won’t go away any time soon.

“God has a plan for everything. I just — it better be a good plan, ya know?” Baumhover said.

“It’s sad. It’s really sad.” O’Brien said.

The priest also offered advice to everyone in attendance, telling them to listen to each other and pray for each other.

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