Northeast Iowa community mourns the loss of two teenagers - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Northeast Iowa community mourns the loss of two teenagers

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WINNESHIEK COUNTY, Iowa (KTTC) -

A community in Northeast Iowa is mourning the loss of two sisters who died in a traffic accident in Winneshiek County Monday morning.

Three others in the car, their siblings, were hurt as they were headed to Mabel-Canton Schools.

Everyone was in shock and disbelief, pained by the loss of two teenagers, Avery and Aden Arneson, in that fatal accident.

Their other three siblings were injured, two are in critical condition at Winneshiek Medical and one in serious condition at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.

We were told the community that the family is part of is so close that everyone was touched by the accident: teachers, staff, students and neighbors.

We spoke with one of the family's neighbors outside the North Winneshiek community school as they were there for a referendum vote.

"Our granddaughter goes to school up in Mabel with the kids that were in the accident, and she sent me a message early in the morning and said [to] turn my scanner on. She heard some news of a bad accident," said neighbor Carol McCabe. "I just turned to my husband and I said 'It can't be.' I mean, I just kept saying it can't be so."

"Yeah. It don't seem real you know? It isn't sunk in I guess yet," said her husband Gary McCabe.

All the siblings went to school at North Winneshiek before graduating from there and going to high school Mabel Canton.

Superintendent Gary Kuphal said the small the community is a strong one, and that they're all helping each other as they try to get through the tragedy.

"A tragedy like this affects everybody. The good thing is there's strength in a small community, because everybody knows everybody," said Kuphal. "And people can lean on other people, and that's what I've seen here in the last two days, here in our school community. Hopefully each day will get a little better, a little easier. It's a tragedy that doesn't go away, we know that."

Kuphal said he has been in touch with the Decorah School District, which is were the 15-year-old driver of the other car involved in the accident goes to school.

He said the Decorah School District is working with him and other students, as this will have 'an impact on him and his family for the rest of his life.'

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