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Crash kills Ala. man, 4 Ind. teens on spring break

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[March 28, 2011]  ANGOLA, Ind. (AP) -- Four northeastern Indiana high school seniors returning from a spring break trip and another man were killed in a three-vehicle crash over the weekend in Alabama.

Cpl. Steve Smith with the Alabama State Troopers said the four teens were Matthew Riley Zimmer, Evan Weaver, Matthew Roe and Alexx Bauer. The 18-year-olds were from Angola, Ind., a small community near the Ohio and Michigan state lines.

Niall McNellis, 21, of Troy, Ala., also died in the crash about 3 p.m. Saturday.

An initial investigation indicated McNellis was driving south on Interstate 65 just south of Clanton, Ala., when his vehicle crossed the median and hit the car driven by Zimmer head-on as the teens drove north, Smith said.


Bauer and Zimmer played for the Angola High School football team, and a message on the team's website said the members "thoughts and prayers" were with all the students' families.

"We will never forget you," the message read.

Head coach Luke Amstutz said the four were "wonderful kids."

Principal Steve Grill said the school planned to have counselors available for students and staff when classes resume Monday. He said all four teenagers were good students who were headed for college.

"They're just great young people, the kind of people you hope to have in school. It's so tragic for the families and close friends and really the whole school district that we've now lost them," he said.

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High school counselors set up a memorial at the school's entrance. Classmates stopped by throughout the day Sunday to leave flowers and other memorabilia. Among them were Tiffany Shoemaker and Miranda Davenport.

"They were great people," Shoemaker, a junior who was friends with the four, told The News-Sun of Kendallville, Ind.

Smith said several people in a third car suffered minor injuries.

It was unclear whether bad weather that passed through the area contributed to the wreck.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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