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Two die in plane crash, community mourns loss

The Tea community is mourning the death of Tea Area freshman Destiny Karpinen, 14, and her grandfather Allen Bucholz, 64, after a plane crash west of Viborg, S.D., Sept. 2.

Turner County Sheriff Byron Nogelmeier reported that they received a 911 call from a rural resident about 10 a.m. Sept. 2 of an aircraft that crashed in a corn field west of Viborg. The Viborg Fire Department and ambulance were on the scene to put out the fire.

“NTSB is investigating. They are done as far as the site goes. I don’t know how long it will take,” he said.

Information from NTSB could take anywhere from 90 days to two years.

The two were traveling in a AVES Douglas James RV6 fixed-wing single-engine plane.

Karpinen enjoyed flying and attended the Air Academy in Oshkosh, Wis., this summer. She spoke about her experience Aug. 20 at the EAA Chapter 289 pancake breakfast at the Tea airport. She said she enjoyed meeting people and learning. She said she wanted to be an aerial firefighter when she grew up.

“Destiny was a model student and person. She was active within her fine arts and student body. Her kindness, politeness and smile will forever be in our hearts. Words cannot describe the loss and pain her and her grandfather’s death are bringing to our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and students grieving this wonderful young lady,” Lowery said in a statement from the Tea Area School District.

High school counselor Kara Spieler noted the district has a variety of resources available to staff, students and families. Grief resources can be found on the Tea Area High School Counseling Department Facebook page.

“We have had the counselors available both Friday night, as well as Monday afternoon for any students who needed someone to talk to. During the school hours, we communicated with both the teachers as well as the students that if they need to leave the room, they were permitted to do so,” Spieler said. “We have counselors available for students who needed extra support and will continue to be available as needed.”

Spieler noted that the district must treat all student deaths equally so nothing will be done “special” that isn’t done for any other students.

She also noted that grief affects everyone differently.

“Adults and kids alike need to allow themselves to grieve in whatever manner works best for them as there is no right or wrong way. I would encourage talking to someone they trust about the feelings he/she is experiencing. It might also be helpful to journal or use art to help process their feelings,” Spieler said.

Joint services for Karpinen and Bucholz include visitation Sept. 8 from 5-7 p.m. at Asbury United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls. The funeral service is Sept. 9 at 10:30 a.m. at First United Methodist Church at 401 S. Spring Ave., Sioux Falls.

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