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Gretna siblings killed in crash remembered as 'exemplary young people'

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Two school communities are grieving the loss of Gretna siblings who were killed in a weekend car crash.

Alice “Ali” Tupper, 16, and Joseph “Joe” Tupper, 14, were killed Saturday night in a two-vehicle collision on Interstate 29 near Percival, Iowa.

Ali had just finished her sophomore year at Omaha’s Duchesne Academy. She was a member of the school soccer and cross-country teams. She also helped lead retreats for her classmates, according to a statement from the school.

“Ali pushed herself to be the best in all she did whether it was in her studies, on the field, or helping others,” said Meg Brudney, head of school for Duchesne Academy, which is at 3601 Burt St. “She made our school better each day and our thoughts and deepest condolences are with the Tupper family right now.”

Ali was described as a “bright light” to her classmates and community by Principal Laura Hickman.

Joe was entering eighth grade at St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic School, said Principal Julie Perrault. Ali had graduated in 2020 from St. Stephen, which is at 16701 S St.

Joe also competed in soccer and cross-country. He was quiet on the surface, his principal said, but was witty and enjoyed interacting with his peers.

The two siblings were exemplary young people and exceptional students as well as athletes, Perrault said.

“Most importantly, they were kind to all. They were always willing to volunteer at school or church,” she said. “They were humble, faith-filled and leaders to their peers. They will be deeply missed by their classmates, teachers and entire school community.”

In the Saturday collision, investigators determined that a 2020 Jeep Wrangler, in which the teens were passengers, and a 2021 Dodge Charger collided on northbound I-29 about 7:40 p.m. Both vehicles entered the ditch and rolled over.

Duchesne hosted a prayer service for students and families on Sunday. School counselors and special support assistance are available for students who want to talk.

St. Stephen plans to invite school families to a rosary this week. Counselors will be on campus for students and families.

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