As school nears end, Upper Peninsula communities mourn deaths of 2 girls

Associated Press

Bessemer – Communities in the western Upper Peninsula are grieving over the deaths of two teenagers who died in a crash just before the end of the school year.

Lauren Powless and 15-year-old Madeline Jackson were students at Johnston Junior and Senior High School in Bessemer. Powless was 18 and would have graduated Friday.

Bessemer Superintendent Dave Wineburner says, “Our hearts are aching.”

The Daily Globe reports that the girls were in a car that struck a tree last Saturday in Ironwood Township. A third person survived the crash. Students held a vigil Sunday at the crash site.

Wineburner says his staff and educators from other area schools have helped students cope with the tragedy. A fundraiser for the two families is planned for Tuesday at the VFW hall in Bessemer.