A devastating crash near Afton on July 21 has claimed the lives of three Southwestern Community College students, sending shockwaves through the community. Among the victims is Madalynn Stewart, a 19-year-old from Maloy, who tragically lost her life after failing to stop at a stop sign at 190th and Highway 34. The collision with a Ford F350 on the driver’s side proved fatal, despite immediate transportation to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines via Mercy Helicopter.
What Happened to?
As news of the accident spread, the Southwestern Community College released a heartbroken statement, mourning the loss of Maddie, as she was affectionately known. A talented member of the women’s basketball and dance teams, Maddie was a fierce competitor and a Spartan at heart. Her warm smile and delightful presence made her a beloved figure on campus. The college community holds Maddie’s family and friends in their thoughts as they grieve an immeasurable loss. The other victims of the crash, Halsie Barnes and Ella Leonard, are also remembered with deep sorrow, while prayers continue for the ongoing recovery of Abigail Barnes.
Halsie Barnes, a 19-year-old from Tingley, and Ella Leonard, a 19-year-old from Winterset, were the other two victims of the tragic crash. Halsie was pronounced dead at the scene, while Ella passed away at the hospital on July 23. Abigail Barnes, 20, from Lamoni, survived the accident but is currently at Methodist Hospital in Des Moines. Her Caring Bridge site provides updates on her condition, indicating a courageous fight for recovery from severe injuries.
The Southwestern Community College Dance Team also expressed their grief, acknowledging Maddie’s talent and love as a valued team member. Meanwhile, the community gathered at the Mount Ayr softball field to release memory lanterns in honor of Halsie and Maddie, offering solace and support to their families and friends.
Maddie Stewart Obituary and Funeral Service
As the college community comes together to mourn the loss of these vibrant young individuals, SWCC will be closed on Wednesday to pay respects at Ella Leonard’s funeral at New Bridge Church in Winterset. Services for Halsie Barnes were held on Saturday in Mount Ayr.
While details for Maddie Stewart’s services have not been announced yet, the collective grief and prayers from the college and beyond stand as a testament to the profound impact these young souls had on the lives they touched. The memories of Maddie, Halsie, and Ella will forever be cherished, and the community remains steadfast in their support for Abigail’s recovery journey.