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Friday, May 6th, 2005 -- 10:30 AM

Saturday marks the 5-year anniversary of one of the most tragic car accidents in the area?s history. It was just after 3 a.m. May 7, 2000, when a vehicle driven by 34-year-old David T. Breu of Marshfield collided with a vehicle full of Neillsville students out celebrating prom. The accident happened on Hwy 95, a few miles south of Neillsville.

Breau was killed in the crash, as were brothers Dylan and Cole Glebke, who were 17 and 16 respectively, and 15-year-olds Louella Blackdeer and Daniel Riddle.

Toxicology reports would later reveal Breau had a blood-alcohol level of .237% - well over twice the legal limit. It was determined the students had not been drinking.

Louella?s mother, Lani (Lonnie) Blackdeer, says the week before the anniversary date is always difficult. Their family usually comes together to help each other through, but nothing special is scheduled to mark the 5-year anniversary.

Blackdeer occasionally visits the scene of the accident, which holds a memorial to those killed in the crash.

"That's the only place I don't cry," Lani says. "When I go there, I just feel all the love."

"It is so clean. People really take care of the site."

Before her death, Louella began running with a group of Ho-Chunk youth. Lani says it changed her daughter?s life. She had even run in the Honolulu marathon. Changing their name from Ho-Chunk Youth Marathon Runners to Ho-Chunk Youth Marathon Runners Against Drunk Driving, the group has flourished using Louella's death as inspiration.

"When Louella and the boys left us, I made a promise to them that I wouldn't let them die for nothing," Blackdeer says, "I would try to educate people about what can happen if you drive drunk. With the Ho-Chunk Marathon Runners, I've been able to do that."

While she didn?t excel in other sports, Lani says Louella found running to be something she could participate in and enjoy. It prevented her from making bad decisions. She says she sees the same progress from other youth who join the group.

"It helps clear their mind and destress. You can really see the change," Blackdeer explains. "It gives them something positive to do, instead of finding something negative."

The ?Louella Blackdeer Fun Run? will be held on May 28th outside of Black River Falls. Lani says they've held this event the past five years with around 200 people participating. Funds go to the Ho-Chunk Youth Marathon Runners. For more information, you can search for the event at [url=http://www.active.com]www.active.com[/url].

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.