Classes are canceled today at Adair-Casey Community School for the funeral of a 12-year-old boy who died last week after crashing his father's pickup.
Austin Vais of rural Exira, Iowa, had been a student at the elementary school since only the beginning of the school year, said Principal Cynthia Jensen, but he was very outgoing and had made friends quickly with the 26 other members of his class.
“We didn't know him for a very long time, but it didn't take long to get to know him,” she said.
Services are scheduled for 1 p.m. at the school, about three miles east of Adair.
Austin's fellow sixth-graders will be honorary pallbearers, Jensen said.
Counselors were brought in Friday to talk with the students, Jensen said. “It's a learning experience for all of us.”
The crash happened a few miles from Austin's home in rural Exira about 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
Austin was not wearing a seat belt when he lost control of the 2003 Ford F-150 on a rural road. The truck slid sideways and rolled. Austin was ejected.
The minimum age to be eligible for a minor school license in Iowa is 14˝. Austin apparently took the truck for a drive while his father was away from home, said Audubon County Sheriff's Deputy David Beane.
Austin grew up in Exira and Griswold, Iowa, and he attended elementary school in Elliott, Iowa, before enrolling at Adair-Casey, according to Kessler Funeral Homes.
He enjoyed cooking, four-wheeling and auto racing, among other pursuits, and he was building a go-kart.
Contact the writer: 402-444-1310, email@example.com