Two brothers -- one a first grader and the other a high school student -- were killed in a crash on Interstate 89 in Bow, New Hampshire, on Friday morning.
Bow School Superintendent Dean Cascadden identified the brothers as 11th grader Nicholas Ouellette and first grader Gavin Ouellette of Bow in a statement to the school community. The boys' father, Tom Ouellette, the Bow school resource officer, suffered serious injuries in the crash, but is expected to survive.
The accident occurred around 8:30 a.m. on I-89 south near Exit 2. State police said Tom Ouellette, 44, was driving a 2017 Ford Expedition southbound when for an unknown reason the SUV drifted from the right hand lane of travel into the breakdown lane, where it struck a disabled tractor-trailer.
A town-wide event was held Friday at the Bow High School football field for people to gather and mourn the loss of the two local students. All after-school activities have been canceled.
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Nick Ouellette, a junior, was number 55 on the football team. Friday night was supposed to be their second game of the season. It was a vigil instead, with flags at half staff.
"It's going to leave a big hole in our community as we try to heal from this and deal with the tragic loss," Cascadden said Friday.
"It breaks your heart," Bow High School Principal Brian O'Connell said. "That's the only way to describe it. It just breaks your heart. It's a tragedy. They're so plugged into these communities though our schools."
"He definitely was the heart and soul of this team," said Nick Oullette's teammate, junior Ryan Lover.
"Nick was one of the most genuine people you'll ever meet," said senior Alex Boisvert, also on the football team. "He was the nicest guy. He'll make the most serious situation funny."
The cause of the crash remains under investigation, state police said. The southbound side of I-89 was shut down for about five hours as a result of the crash.