Residents in Burnsville are rallying around a family whose three teens were involved in a highway crash in Kansas that killed their 19-year-old daughter.
Taylor Ziebol was driving the car near Dodge City, Kan., on July 11 when it crossed the center line and hit a semi head on, investigators said. Her siblings, Burnsville High School students Shannon Ziebol, 17, and Adam Ziebol, 15, were in critical condition and still in the hospital in Kansas, KSTP reported.
Paramedics had tried in vain to save Taylor, the Star Tribune reported. The mother of the close-knit teens, Lesa Hess, suspects her oldest daughter may have dozed off for a split second.
The three were on their way to visit grandparents in Texas.
“[Taylor] had an amazing relationship with her siblings,” Nicollet Junior High Principal Renee Brandner told KSTP. “She was a big sister who took on the caretaker role. She would brag about her brother and sister and how proud she was of them ... I thought that was a really special relationship.”
Funeral services for Taylor are pending. A Ziebol Family Memorial Fund was established to help the family defray medical expenses. People can donate at any Wells Fargo Bank, KSTP reported.
People in Burnsville are reaching out to the family, local media reported. A candlelight vigil drew 100 people the night Taylor died, her mother told Star Tribune. A bratwurst sale raised $6,200 to help with the family’s expenses, the newspaper reported.
In a message on the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church website, Pastor Paul Gauche said the community was grief-stricken.
"Our hearts are broken as we come together as a community faith. We continue to pray for physical and emotional healing for Shannon and Adam and for the rest of the community of family and friends who knew Taylor and who will, of course, continue to love her."
Taylor Ziebol graduated from Burnsville High and played soccer at Ripon College in Wisconsin. In a message on the team website, Coach Sam Schroeder said, "Taylor epitomized what it means to be a good teammate and a good person. She set an example for us all every single day. We will miss Taylor's limitless energy, determined spirit, and ever-positive outlook. We will miss our friend."