CANYON COUNTY -- Agonizing news struck the town of Middleton after a truck struck a white car around 4:30 Thursday night.
"No one likes to hear that news. That's the worst thing," said Dr. Rich Bauscher, the Superintendent of Middleton Schools.
Seventeen-year-old Ashton Braden was a senior at Middleton high. Six-year-old Sophie Moore was a first-grader at Purple Sage Elementary. Their sister and the only survivor of the crash, Zoey Moore, is a fifth-grader at Purple Sage.
"We look at these and say, if we're a positive example, if we're there for supportive role, we keep our heads up and our chins up too, that that helps the other kids, especially those teachers' attitude saying we can get through this together," said Dr. Bauscher.
In the small, close-knit community, Bauscher said the tragedy affects many people. Lynnette Vanmaanen is one of the people who this accident touched. Her oldest son when to school with Ashton, her younger son is in the same class as Zoey, and the crash happened on their property at the intersection of Old Highway 30 and Farmway Road.
Vanmaanen said her family was watching TV when the crash happened.
"4:30 we heard a big crash, and then an even bigger crash as the truck went through our fence. And we ran outside right away," said Vanmaanen.
They didn't see the car until they came out to the street. Then they saw Zoey sitting by the car.
"I just kept asking her questions so she wouldn't look at the car," said Vanmaanen. "I talked to her the whole time. I just kept telling her she was going to be OK, and to be strong, and I just told her that I would see her soon."
As a parent with kids around the same age as the victims, this hit home for Vanmaanen.
"We take for granted every time they leave the house. And this is when reality sets in and it's heartbreaking," she said.
Friday she went outside and put a stuffed animal at the crash site, in memory of the girls. It's just part of the makeshift memorial on the edge of her property and a reminder of what Middleton has lost.
"Love our children, because we don't know when they'll be taken away."
The district will have three counselors on hand at Purple Sage and three more at Middleton High when students go back to school Monday.