Western Dubuque football team honors four boys killed in crash - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Western Dubuque football team honors four boys killed in crash

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EPWORTH (KWWL) -

The Western Dubuque High School Freshman football team paid a special tribute to the four boys killed earlier this month in a horrific crash.

On the afternoon of Saturday, August 2nd, according to the Dubuque County Sheriff's Office, 24-year-old Joe Connolly was driving a diesel pickup truck hauling a horse trailer, which was carrying three horses at the time. He was heading south on Hartbecke Road, just south US Highway 20 between Farley and Epworth, when he failed to stop at the East Pleasant Grove Road intersection's stop sign.

He then hit a Gator utility vehicle, which was carrying four 14-year-old boys and traveling east on East Pleasant Grove Road. All four of the boys died, and Connolly's two passengers -- 25-year-old Joe Lucas and 21-year-old Elissa Ericson -- were injured. One of the horses in the trailer also died.

The Dubuque County prosecutor says the crash that killed four 14-year-old boys earlier this month is still under investigation and no charges have been filed yet.

The Western Dubuque football team honored the boys through a sticker on their helmets that read "Bobcat Strong" during Thursday night's first home football game against West Delaware.

Family friends tell KWWL the boys all played various sports, some including football.

John Hlubek is the activities director at Western Dubuque High School. He said the stickers served as a way to remember the boys and reflect on the lives lost.

"The boys were all multi-sport athletes, good kids. They liked to play hard and work hard. You know they will truly be missed," said Hlubek.

The Western Dubuque women's volleyball team also had a game Thursday evening. Hlubek said the opposing team, Hempstead High School, showed up wearing "Bobcat Strong" t-shirts to also so their support for the community.

Becca Habegger contributed to this story.

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