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Small Cities, Big Hearts
EPWORTH, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- August 2nd marked the last of the three day Town and Country Days in Epworth, giving everyone a chance to get outside and have a good time. But the afternoon was turned upside down by what people are calling the heartbreaking news of the afternoon.
The mostly quiet streets give visitors a good idea for the residents' loss of words after four 14 year old boys wee killed when the Dubuque County Sheriff says a pick up and the boys' Gator Utility Vehicle collided at a rural intersection outside town.
Those boys are Bryce Wilwert and Mitchell Kluesner from Epworth, Sean Kenneally of Peosta and Nicholas Kramer from Dyersville. All the boys were 14 years old.
The driver of the truck wasn't injured but two other passengers had to be taken to the hospital. No charges above been filed and the crash is under investigation.
"It's such an unreal thing," said Leslie Bockenstedt. Her son, Keaton's was best friends with two of the four boys who were killed. "It just doesn't feel right."
"I started to cry because I knew Sean since Kindergarten," said Keaton. "I knew Nick since Third Grade. Bryce and Mitchell since Sixth and they were like brothers to me."
"To see him fall apart like he did, his world crashed," said Leslie. "This is nothing a 14 year old kid or family should have to endure."
Keaton says Mitchell called him twice on the morning of the crash to hang out with the boys. Keaton couldn't go because of a family reunion.
"It tears me because I could have been the reason they didn't go or could have stopped them," said Keaton. "It's just really sad."
Keaton and his family came out to see the scene just a few minutes after other classmates made the same trip. Eventually the tire marks will fade and the tamped down grass will grow back, but Keaton says this intersection is stuck in his head.
"This will probably be one of the saddest memories I can think of," said Keaton.
The Bockenstedt's are making their way to each of the boys' homes, giving whatever comfort they can, showing that sometimes it's the smallest communities that have the biggest hearts.
"When these things happen it just increases that bond that we have and that love that we share with one another," said Leslie. "It's so much deeper than just someone you know, it's family."
Leslie says the boys were the type of kids you want your kids to hang out with. She says all they can do now is help each other and the boys' families through.