Community Grieves Over Family Killed In Crash
by Breanna Fuss, Reporter
February 24, 2013 6:57 PM
Four people are dead following an accident on Interstate 90 Saturday night. The South Dakota Highway Patrol says 52-year-old James Vollmer, his wife 48-year-old Julie Vollmer and their two children 16-year-old Alyssa and 13-year-old Caleb were all killed when their SUV crashed on Interstate 90.
Sunday, students and parents who knew the Vollmer family gathered at Sioux Falls Christian Schools where the children attended, to pray and remember their lives.
“Both Caleb and Alyssa had smiles as big as Texas,” said Jay Woudstra, superintendent of Sioux Falls Christian Schools.
They were four lives taken too soon, 52-year-old James Vollmer, his wife 48-year-old Julie and their two children, 16-year-old Alyssa and 13-year-old Caleb.
“They were a wonderful group of people to be around, and they were just a joy to have at our school,” Woudstra said.
On Saturday night the family was traveling east on Interstate 90 just west of Sioux Falls, when their vehicle crashed. The South Dakota Highway Patrol said James lost control of the family’s red Ford Explorer near mile marker 394. The vehicle went into the median, hit a guardrail and slid down into an embankment. Troopers said the SUV was then launched from one side of the embankment to the other, splitting the vehicle in two.
James, Alyssa and Caleb all died at the scene. Julie was later taken to the hospital, where she later died.
“This is a difficult time in the history of our school,” said Woudstra.
Woudstra is the superintendent of Sioux Falls Christian Schools, where Alyssa was a sophomore and Caleb was a 7th grader. He said they are not only feeling the loss of two of their students, but two of their parents as well.
“Mom and Dad were the salt of the earth, hard working people,” recalled Woudstra.
Woudstra said they were always there to support their two children in the countless activities they were apart of.
And they are four faces he will never forget.
"Their smiles, their positive attitudes, and their love for the Lord,” Woudstra said.
The oldest child in the Vollmer family, Brittney, was not involved in the crash. She currently attends Northwestern College.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating what exactly happened to cause the crash. However, they do know that all four were wearing their seatbelts.