Northwestern Campus Mourns Student's Loss
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
February 25, 2013 5:40 PM
A fifth member of the Vollmer family, Brittany Vollmer, a sophomore at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, was at school at the time of the crash and is now forced to move on without her immediate family.
The nightmare began Saturday evening for Brittany Vollmer, both parents, both siblings, taken away after a crash on Interstate 90.
Northwestern College is where Brittany is studying and the community in Orange City struggles to grasp the difficulties she's facing.
“It's unspeakable to imagine everyone's worst fear of losing their family,” said Jeni Ochsner.
“And when we try to imagine ourselves in her shoes, the brain won't even function. Then we just go, ‘I can't fathom that. I can't imagine what that would be like,” said Harlan VanOort, the chaplain at Northwestern.
The feeling around campus is the same. What can you say to someone who's lost their whole family?
“You pray. You wish there was something more you can do,” said Ochsner.
“Just pray. Just be there for her. Just put a hand on her shoulder,” said Jace VerSteeg, a freshman at Northwestern,.
Campus leaders say there's no playbook for something like this.
“We don't really know what to do. It's that overwhelming and unfathomable,” said VanOort.
“It's hard to even talk about,” said Ochsner.
Brittany is an active member in the school. Coupled with a small college atmosphere and the sadness spread through campus like wildfire.
“So many people know her and that's good. That's to be expected and that makes the grief intense,” said VanOort.
A crash that will forever change Brittany Vollmer's life, has her college trying to support her through the unthinkable.