Hallettsville community mourns loss of high school junior


A hog hunting trip and an overturned early 1970s model Jeep ended with the loss of a Hallettsville High School junior Friday evening.

The incident occurred on private property located along the 2500-block of Lavaca County Road 211 at about 6:46 p.m. Friday, May 5, according to a release issued by Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon.

The vehicle involved was a 1974 open-top Jeep occupied by the driver and passenger, who were returning home from a hog hunting trip.

“It is believed that the driver lost control of the vehicle coming out of a curve, which caused the vehicle to roll over coming to rest on its right side,” Harmon said. “Both occupants were ejected from the vehicle, and the victim ended up pinned beneath the vehicle. It is believed the victim died on impact.”

Lavaca County’s Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Travis Hill conducted an inquest and pronounced the victim deceased, Harmon said in the release, adding that the driver of the vehicle will not be identified at this time, pending further investigation.

Landon Wayne Koehne, 16, of Schulenburg was identified as the deceased.  He was a junior at Hallettsville High School and the son of La Grange Police Sgt. Justin Koehne.

“The Lavaca County Sheriff’s Office extends its thoughts and prayers to Landon’s family, friends and fellow students,” Harmon said.

Upon hearing the news Friday, some 70 students and their parents gathered in a prayer vigil at the Methodist church in Hallettsville. Landon’s parents arrived at about 10 p.m. that night, and though shocked by the outpouring for their boy, they remained solid and steadfast throughout, witnesses said, despite their own loss.

According to accounts from those at the church that night, Mrs. Koehne vowed not to leave until she had hugged everyone who was there.

School officials also issued a release, which we provide here without restating some of the prior details:

“It is with deep regret that we inform you about a recent loss to our school community,” they said. “(Landon Koehne’s) loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school and community.

“HISD has a Crisis Intervention Team made up of professionals trained to help with the needs of students, parents, and school personnel at difficult times such as this. We have counselors available for any student who may need or want help or any type of assistance surrounding this loss,” they added.

In addition to providing contacts to several trained counselors with the school, they also linked a couple of area resources for additional information and support. They are listed at the end of this article.

The school ended with: “We are saddened by the loss to our school community and will make every effort to help you and your child as you need.”