Updated: 07/17/2013 7:30 AM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson
The Burnsville community is mourning after three siblings were involved in a car crash while taking a road trip to El Paso, Texas, last week. The crash killed 19-year-old Taylor Ziebol and left 17-year-old Shannon Ziebol and 15-year-old Adam Ziebol in critical condition.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, the Ziebols’ car was driving westbound on U-54 just south of Dodge City, Kan., when it crossed the center line and was hit by a semi driven by 56-year-old Raymond Noriega of San Diego, Calif. The crash happened around 7 a.m. Thursday, July 11.
Taylor Ziebol was killed in the crash, and Adam and Shannon Ziebol were taken to Great Plains Regional Hospital in critical condition. They were all wearing their seatbelts, according to police.
Friends of the family say the Ziebols are all active students in the Burnsville school district. Shannon will be a senior and Adam will be a sophomore at Burnsville High School in the fall.
“[Taylor] had an amazing relationship with her siblings,” Nicollet Junior High Principal Renee Brandner said. “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.”
Angie Markham is a guidance counselor at Nicollet Junior High and says Taylor volunteered at the junior high almost daily, even after she no longer attended.
“Taylor was a wonderful person who touched so many people’s lives,” Markham said. “She gave 200 percent to everyone around her and was always doing it with a smile on her face. She was a bright young lady with a ton of stuff going on.”
While at Burnsville High School, Taylor was a tutor for the AVID program, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. She also worked at the Lakeville Target, regularly babysat for her teachers, coached an elementary-aged soccer team, attended Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, was involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and did Post-Secondary Education at North Central University as a junior and Normandale Community College as a senior, according to friends of the family.
She went on to Ripon College in Wisconsin on a soccer scholarship and was studying secondary science.
“She made every positive choice when a non-positive choice would have been easier,” Brandner said. “She impacted a lot of lives and will be greatly missed.”
A Ziebol Family Memorial Fund has been set up to help the family cover medical expenses. Community members can donate to any Wells Fargo Bank, and the money will be directly used to help the siblings who are still in the hospital, help with the cost of bringing Taylor’s body home, help with the funeral arrangements, and help with ongoing medical expenses.
“We as teachers want to be able to support them anyway we can,” Markham said. “They are the type of kids who do so much for us, and we want to make sure their family is taken care of.”