The Bethel Mennonite congregation just outside Greensburg is in shock and mourning, following a car accident that took the lives of three young women who worked with the church's parochial school.
Bad weather conditions may have played a role in the accident that occurred at around 7 a.m. Friday in LaPorte County, Indiana. Killed in the accident were: Judith Peachey, 22, Rosalie Koehn, 25 and Lani Nace, 16.
Peachey was from Goshen, Indiana and had come to Greensburg to teach in the school, as had Koehn, who was from Al Mena, Wisconsin. Nace, a teacher's assistant, was from Greensburg. The three had gone with Peachey to her home town over spring break, said Bethel Mennonite Pastor Mark Dirks.
According to CBS of Chicago, Peachey was driving on U.S. 20 near Rolling Prairie, about 20 miles west of South Bend when she lost control and her Pontiac skidded into the path of a semi tractor-trailer truck driven by Joseph Green, of Mishawaka, Indiana. He escaped injury.
Reports are of weather at 32 degrees with a mixture of freezing rain and snow falling.
"Our whole congregation is pulling together and doing whatever we can," Dirks said.
Dirks and Lani Nace's father, Rod Nance, were at a conference in Wichita when Nance, associate pastor at the church, was told the news at around 2 p.m.
Along with her father, Lani Nace, leaves behind a mother, Lisa, an older brother, Christopher, and a younger brother, Tyson, all of the home.
"You don't have anything to say for awhile," Dirks said. "You just cry with them. You don't have any words."
The church will have a special service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday "to bring our congregation together for a a time of prayer, fellowship and to comfort one another," Dirks said.
Nace was "full of life," Dirks said. "She was interested in many things. We never did see her with a down feeling or spirit. She was always very upbeat."
He described Koehn as "more reserved and quiet, but a very good teacher and her students loved her. She got involved in things, but in a quiet way."
Peachey's personality was more in between the two others, Dirks said.
The funeral for Nace was held Monday. People from several states attended her funeral.
Funerals for the other two women are taking place in their respective home towns.