Heartbreak and a Community Shattered

Students from Marquette High School gather to pay their respects for their fallen classmates

St. Louis Post Dispatch

Students from Marquette High School gather to pay their respects for their fallen classmates

Emma Larkin, Staff Writer

The counties of St. Louis and St. Charles were crushed to hear about the death of three teens in a fiery car accident last Sunday. Rhegan Sajben, Jacob (Jake) Keifer and Cole Anello were tragically killed in the accident near Ballwin, Missouri.

The three were killed early Sunday morning on the 14 of November, with two other passages in the car. The two other passengers, 16 year old Sammie Esparza and 16 year old Andrew Vendt, are expected to survive according to police.

Four of the five victims attended Marquette High School in Chesterfield, Missouri. Cole Anello, the driver of the Nissan Maxima that crashed on Sunday morning, attended De Smet Jesuit High School in Creve Coeur.

At a little after 4 a.m, police arrived at the crash site near Kiefer Creek Road, the car was fully engulfed in flames. As to why the group were traveling so early in the morning, police are unsure at this point in the investigation.

The police have stated the Nissan was traveling eastbound when Anello lost control of the vehicle, swerved off the road, struck a tree, and consequently caught the car on fire.

Anello, a soccer player and student at De Smet Jesuit High School, was known as a kind person to others and brought a smile to everyone’s face.

Sajben was a volleyball player for the Marquette Junior Varsity Volleyball team. She was said to have a bright and vibrant personality. She was excited for her new year at school and starting her first season with a new volleyball club.

Keifer loved all things by the water. He had a passion for boating, surfing and water sports during his family trips to the lake in Arkansas. He was known as a fun loving guy with a huge heart for his family.

A small and informal memorial for the teens was held on Monday afternoon as a group of students from both Marquette High School and De Smet Jesuit High School gathered around the crash site in a unified prayer.