Emily Bohnsack
Emily Bohnsack

DURANT, Iowa - Durant High School junior Emily Bohnsack will be missed on the court and off.

The 16-year-old, who died in a car crash Sunday afternoon near Durant, was active in sports, choir and 4-H, Durant Community School District Superintendent Duane Bark said Monday.

She was also active in the youth group at St. Mary's Catholic Church, and was an award-winning horseman who belonged to the Muscatine Saddle Club and Iowa Quarter Horse Youth Association.

But it was Emily's joyful attitude and love for laughter that the people of Durant mentioned Monday afternoon as they recalled her life.

"When Emily came into a room, she always had a glow," said Durant High School sophomore Brandi Wulf.

Emily lived with her parents, Rob and Suzanne Bohnsack of Wilton, and attended school in Durant, where she had many friends.

In her obituary, Emily's family described her as "a strong-willed girl with a zest for life who liked nothing better than ‘being goofy' with her friends."

Mary Lou Fells, who works at the Fifth Avenue Creamery restaurant in Durant, said Emily and her friends were regulars there.

"She always had everyone laughing," said Fells. "She was a good little girl."

Like Wulf, Fells' granddaughter, MacKenzie Snowbarger, played on the Durant High School volleyball team with Emily.

"The girls were all at volleyball practice when the accident happened Sunday," said Fells. "The coach waited until after practice to tell them. My daughter texted and told me last night and I just sat there and bawled."

According to police reports, Emily was pronounced dead at the scene after the Jeep Grand Cherokee she was driving collided with a Ford F250 pickup driven by Devin R. Warner, 41, of Bennett.

Reports state that Emily was eastbound on 310th Street in Cedar County and Warner was southbound on Yankee Avenue when the accident occurred at approximately 12:50 p.m.

Emily failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection, and Warner's truck struck the driver's side door of Emily's car.

The accident is still under investigation.

Bark said numerous counselors from outside the school district came to Durant High School Monday to speak with students who are grieving the loss of their classmate.

As she left school Monday afternoon, Durant High School senior Elizabeth Green blinked back tears when she spoke of Emily.

"Emily always made me laugh," said Green. "And she always made me smile."

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