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3 tragic deaths in 3 days for small town of Wiggins

5:30 PM, May 29, 2012   |    comments
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Rick Tackabury, 65, was piloting a two-seater plane with his daughter on Monday afternoon when the plane crashed. Authorities say Tackabury died on impact and his daughter is in fair condition at Greeley's North Colorado Medical Center.

That crash followed an ATV accident on Saturday near the town of Orchard, when a mother and her 15-year-old daughter - who both live in Wiggins - died after the ATV they were riding veered off a paved road and smashed into a tree.

"Our community's hurting," said Pastor Rolland Kenneson with Summit Baptist Church, where the 15-year-old and her mother were known well.

"It is a big shock, because it's so much at once," added Kenneson.

"There were lives that we knew at the beginning of the week who were not there at the end of the week," he said.

The community is asking questions, says Kenneson.

At Wiggins High School, the 15-year-old is being remembered. So too is transportation director Rick Tackabury, who managed the bus fleet for Wiggins Schools.

"It's a real blow for the district," principal Trent Kerr said.

Kerr remembers Tackabury speaking fondly about the plane authorities say he had built in December.

"He was even bragging not too long ago about this plane, that he'd been building," Kerr said.

"Rick was an avid flyer and had been flying for years," Kerr said.

Authorities say this was Tackabury's third flight with the plane.

"When our superintendent told me about Rick, I became nauseous. It's just something I hope nobody ever has to go through," Kerr said.

This community has lost people to tragedies before, just like any community has.

"To have three in three days - is something unparalleled," Kerr said.

"I think there's a lot of unanswered questions the community has right now," he added.

The kind of questions that linger - and, quite possibly, never go away.

"We won't know any of those answers on this side of eternity," Pastor Kenneson said.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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