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A mother and daughter were killed in the tragic accident this morning in Kyana Bottoms. Their passenger car and a semi tanker truck hauling hazardous ammonia nitrate collided on Highway 64 near Pine Ridge Road east of St. Anthony.  Another daughter in the car was taken to Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville is in stable, but critical, condition. The driver of the semi was transported to a Hospital in Evansville to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.  The Greater Jasper Consolidated Schools notified staff and parents with a note sent late this morning.  The note reads:

“Dear GJCS Family and Friends, It is with deep sorrow that we report the death this morning of one of our high school teachers, Mrs. Julie Schnell, and her daughter Alaina in a tragic accident.  Alaina was a vibrant young lady who attended Holy Trinity School.  This is a tragedy for the entire Greater Jasper School family. We mourn for the loss of such an amazing teacher and friend.  Our hearts ache in grief for the Schnell family during this time of immense loss.  We wish to send our prayers to the family, as well as healing thoughts to Addison a high school student who remains hospitalized. She and the family will be needing the support of our community as they navigate this tremendous loss.”

The note continues:  “Our high school students have been informed and counselors will be available to talk to the students about the loss they are experiencing. Your child may choose to continue this discussion with you at home.  We recommend being open and honest, but to not offer more information than is appropriate for his/her age.  Sometimes as adults we feel like we should have all the answers.  Admitting to our children that we don’t understand is okay. At that point share what you do to cope when things don’t make sense to us.  Counselors will continue to be available to students and staff throughout the rest of today and tomorrow.”

The Indiana State Police are now investigating the accident. Earlier this morning, the Indiana State Police & Dubois County Sheriff’s Department responded to the accident scene. ISP Crash Reconstructionist  & Commercial Vehicle Inspectors are on the scene trying the determine the cause of the crash.  Since the accident involved a tanker truck hauling chemicals, the HazMat team was called in as well.  Impairment is not believed to be a factor in the accident. 

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