A Siouxland college is rallying around one of its own after a sophomore's entire family died in a car crash Saturday.
The Vollmer family was driving down I-90 near Sioux Falls when their car ended up in the median, sliding down a snowy embankment and hitting a guardrail along the way.
Students and the community are in mourning and Northwestern College President, Greg Christy, had to break the news to the young woman.
It's a tragedy that's hard to fathom.
"It was very painful to have to share such tragic news with one of our students. It's something that none of us would ever want to do," says Greg Christy.
Christy, the President of Northwestern College, was the one who broke the news to Brittany Vollmer during the intermission of a school play.
"I met with the local police officer who was waiting for us and we were able to locate Brittany and pulled her over to a side room and private room," Christy recalls. "And after I had the facts straight about exactly what happened it became apparent that it was necessary for me to share the news with her."
Brittany broke down.
"How does one react when you have just lost your entire family? You know, deep deep pain. The deepest pain probably one could ever experience," he says.
Christy says staff members quickly took Brittany into their care to console her.
And he says the only thing the school can do now is surround her with love.
"We're going to do everything in our power to help Brittany and that's what I told her we would do everything in our power to help her not only now but going into the future," says Christy.
And the news is hitting other students hard.
"Brittany was at the play for the first half and me and my girlfriend just waved at her at intermission and for the second half she wasn't there and we were like that's weird. What happened? I can't put my mind around it," says Jason Katsma, a Junior at the University. "I called all my siblings yesterday just to tell hi. I didn't really explain anything just told them I missed them and loved them."
"I can't expect happiness or any type of comfort to come out of this but I just hope she knows that she's loved and knows that there is a huge community of people ere just wishing her the best," says Jacob Gilleland, a classmate of Brittany's and Junior at the University.
The school will hold a meetings to console friends and other students on campus and talk about ways to help Brittany in this very difficult time.
A fund has been established to assist Brittany Vollmer with future education-related expenses.
Checks can be made payable to the Brittany Vollmer Fund, c/o Northwestern College, 101 7th St. SW, Orange City, Iowa 51041 or c/o Sioux Falls Christian Schools, 6120 S. Charger Circle, Sioux Falls, S.D. 57108.