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Marion schools bring counselors to help grieving students, staff

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Grief counselors were on hand March 4, 2013 in Marion schools. Three students were killed in a Kentucky car crash the morning of March 2. The Marion school district headquarters and elementary school is pictured. (courtesy of FOX 11).
Grief counselors were on hand March 4, 2013 in Marion schools. Three students were killed in a Kentucky car crash the morning of March 2. The Marion school district headquarters and elementary school is pictured. (courtesy of FOX 11).

MARION, WI (WTAQ) - School district leaders in Marion say this weekend's deadly crash is affecting everyone.

"This was a wonderful family. It's a huge loss to our district and to the communities in our district," Michael Gaunt, the Marion School District Administrator, tells FOX 11.

Counselors were on hand at Marion High School and the elementary school Monday after three students were killed in a Kentucky car crash Saturday.

18-year-old Sereena Gollnow, 10-year-old Gabriel Zumig, and 8-year-old Soledad Smith were killed when the SUV they were riding in was struck from behind by a semi truck on Interstate 65 near Louisville. Also killed in the crash were Sereena's parents, James and Barbara Gollnow, both 62, and 92-year-old Marion Chapnoise.

The elder Gollnows were the foster parents of Gabriel and Soledad. All lived in the town of Pella in Shawano County.

Also injured in the crash were the Gollnows' two other foster children, 15-year-old Hope Hoth and 12-year-old Aidian Ejnik. Hoth was taken to a hospital in Lexington, suffering from burns and a broken spine; Ejnik was taken to a Louisville hospital with cuts to the head.

Gaunt says the district is focusing on helping the students understand the loss of Gabriel Zumig, Soledad Smith and Sereena Gollnow.

"We have counselors on hand; we've had area clergy who have volunteered to help. We've been working closely with the Marion Police Department,” said Gaunt. “We've just had a huge outpouring of support here."

Gaunt says the district is also trying to bring some semblance of normalcy to the school day.

Eberhardt-Stevenson Funeral Home in Clintonville is handling the arrangements for the Gollnows and Chapnoise. Eberhardt-Stevenson tells FOX 11 it's not known what the arrangements for Gabriel and Soledad will be, but expects services to be held in other parts of the state.

The funeral home says, at the family's request, no further information will be given to the media at this time. 

As of Monday afternoon, memorial services for the Gollnows and Chapnoise are still pending.

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