Home Pastors After fatal crash, Marshalltown pastor shares message of hope

After fatal crash, Marshalltown pastor shares message of hope


On Friday night, a car carrying four Marshalltown teenagers crashed into a utility pole, killing two pairs of siblings.

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa – Around midnight on November 4, Pastor Alan Dietzenbach received the type of call most people can’t imagine – one that brought him to the Marshalltown police station late at night to comfort two families grappling with loss beyond measure.

“Having two families who both lost two children was unbelievable and unimaginable. I can’t imagine what they’re going through and what their siblings are going through,” Dietzenbach said.

On Friday evening, a car carrying four teenagers from Marshalltown hit a power poletaking the lives of two sets of siblings.

The victims were Adrian Lara, 13, and Isacc Lara, 16, as well as Linette Lopez, 15, and Yanitza Lopez, 17.

Hundreds of members of the Marshalltown community gathered on Saturday, November 5 for a vigil in memory of the victims held at St. Henry’s Catholic Church.

There were so many attendees that some even had to get up because the pews were so full – a sign of how the whole city was grappling with such a loss.

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“Even at services this weekend, there’s this heaviness that people are dealing with,” Dietzenbach said. “And they deal with it even though they didn’t know the families personally. It still affects them personally.”

The wake was not the only place where the memory of teenagers is honored. Friends left bouquets of flowers at the crash site on Sunday. And the memorial continued to grow on Sunday as more and more visitors came to pay their respects.

Dietzenbach told Local 5 he has been moved by all the love shown so far; he just hopes it will continue in the difficult days ahead.

“The family will need support in a month, in months, in a year, in a few years,” he said. “So I think that’s also the important thing to remember is that it’s not just a done thing. We have to continue to be that support for family and friends long into the future.”

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