WEST BEND (WITI) -- The West Bend community is mourning the loss 17-year-old Luke Gromowski, who lost his life this weekend in a car accident -- just a few months before his high school graduation.
Students and teachers at West Bend West and West Bend East high schools were asked to wear red on Monday, December 1st as tribute to Gromowski and his love of the Wisconsin Badgers.
Gromowski was on his way back from the Wisconsin game on Saturday night, November 29th when the crash occurred.
West Bend East Football Coach Jeff Rondorf says the loss of Gromowski is far more difficult to explain than anything that happens on the football field.
"Everything I would want my two boys to be in that 'thank you,' 'please' -- courteous, and like I said, just an all-around great kid," Rondorf said.
Gromowski was coming back from Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday night after watching his Badgers with his close friend Aaron Mindel.
"They both played football together since they were in fifth grade. Both were on the track team together. They hung around the same group of friends," Rondorf said.
The teens were passing through the Town of Beaver Dam when the accident happened.
Dodge County Sheriff's officials say Mindel was driving and lost control of the car in an "S" curve. The car went airborne and then flipped. Gromowski died at the scene. Mindel survived. School officials say Mindel is devastated.
"It`s just not fair. You`re a senior. It`s supposed to be a year of closure. It`s a life-cycle ritual as you move to the next stage and this class will now move forward together, trying to honor Luke`s legacy," West Bend Superintendent Ted Neitzke said.
Rondorf says one of his fondest memories of Gromowski came in what would be the teen's final football game, when he played through a shoulder injury.
"Just the plays that he made - knocking down passes, coming up and making tackles, being aggressive. You would never have been able to tell he missed all those weeks before hand," Rondorf said.
Rondorf says in addition to coaching Gromowski, he taught him in two classes. He says the teen was interested in both accounting and computer technology.
The Dodge County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the crash.