The Mercer County Coroner has released the names of the five people killed in a Sherrard fire early Wednesday morning.
The victims include mother and daughter, 38 year old Anna Viager and 8 year old Breana. Also killed were 15 year old Cassandra Turner, and sisters 13 year old Jessica Harker and 10 year old Holli Harker. Anna's husband, Wayne Viager, made it out of the fire with 2 boys. Wayne is recovering at the University of Iowa Hospitals.
For as many lives that were lost, there are friends, families, and loved ones that must live on. and the small, Illinois community of Sherrard will never be the same.
Still there was a small slice of normalcy in last night. A high school track meet, and while it provided a brief distraction, everyone's minds and hearts will forever carry the scars of yesterday's fire.
"You just kind of go numb you instantly feel for the families." said Sherrard Track Coach Todd Volkert. He wears a blue ribbon to remember the victims. He says he will never forget, having three of them as students.
"They become part of who you are just like everyone else you see in life they leave an imprint on you and you hate to see that imprint taken too soon."
Fifteen year old Cassie Turner made a quick imprint on the Tigers softball team, making the squad as a freshman. "She was always there pushing it until the end that was her goal, freshman year was to make high school softball and she went out and she did it." explained teammate Ashlynn Howlett.
Friends say the Harker girls also loved softball. Ten year old Holli would often practice with her mom while older sister Jessica played games on an another field.I
Class mates of all the girls are having trouble dealing with the news. "It's a tragedy, it's hard." said Peyton Bradarich.
His younger brother Noah is also having trouble accepting the news. "I just feel sad and kind of mad that this happened."
Volkert expects those emotions to last long after classes resume next week "Monday's going to be rough when everyone gets together its going to be emotional."
The Sherrard softball team will wear wristbands this season to honor their lost teammate. The entire school district plans to wear purple and yellow along with blue ribbons Monday in a show of support.
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