Hundreds gather to remember Nebraska coaches

AP News
Posted: Jun 02, 2012 7:25 PM
Hundreds gather to remember Nebraska coaches

A crash that killed two Nebraska high school basketball coaches and injured eight players as they returned from camp broke "our collective heart," a minister told hundreds gathered at a Saturday vigil.

The crash happened Friday when the team van collided with a pickup on a rural highway near Ansley, a small town about 160 miles west of Lincoln. Coaches Zane Harvey, 38, and Anthony Blum, 24, died, along with the driver of the pickup, 70-year-old Albert Sherbeck, according to the Nebraska State Patrol.

Eight students were taken to hospitals, and three remained hospitalized Saturday, according to the Broken Bow Public Schools, which organized the vigil.

"Yesterday afternoon, all of us had things on our mind, some were happy _ I was preparing to officiate at an evening wedding _ some were working, some were playing, some were getting ready for a fun weekend," Pastor Larry DeMoss, of Broken Bow Berean Church, said, according to the Omaha World-Herald. "A few moments later, as news trickled in, we found that our collective heart was broken with the news of the tragic accident just a few miles down the highway."

The event also included spiritual songs, the reading of Bible passages and remembrances of the coaches.

One hospitalized student was in critical condition Saturday, according to the school district. Another student was still being treated for a broken femur and elbow, and a third student for fractures.

The state patrol said Harvey, an assistant coach at Broken Bow High School, was driving the van, and Blum, the head coach, was his front-seat passenger.

Blum was a business teacher in his first season as head coach. Along with his basketball duties, Harvey was a math teacher, head boys golf coach and assistant football coach.

"It was a horrible accident. It will impact the community for a long time to come," Broken Bow Superintendent Virginia Moon said at a news conference Friday at the hospital.