Tabor College mourns the loss of two students


Christopher Castillo, a senior from Tustin, Calif.

Johnethon Aviles, a junior from Paso Robles, Calif.

While many in the county, including the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, were still reeling from laying Sheriff Robert Craft to rest on Saturday, law enforcement was back protecting and serving in full force at an emotionally grueling scene around 4 a.m. on Sunday morning.

According to a press release from Undersheriff Larry Starkey, who is serving as acting sheriff due to the recent death of Sheriff Craft, on Sunday, Feb. 27, at 3:50 a.m., Marion County Communications was notified of a motor vehicle crash on Indigo Road near the intersection of 130th Road.

The responding units found a 2001 Toyota 4 Runner with a California license plate. The driver was 19- year-old Jonathan Medina.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol report, Medina was listed with a suspected serious injury and taken to Wesley Medical Center.

Two other occupants were listed, and both were listed as having fatal injuries. The first occupant was 23-year-old Johnethon J. Aviles of Paso Robles, Calif., and Christopher Jesus Castillo of Tustin, Calif. Both were taken to Yazel-Megli Funeral Home. According to the KHP report, the next of kin was notified for both victims.

The Hillsboro Police Department also assisted with the accident, including helping KHP contact Tabor College staff to inform them.

The sheriff’s department and police departments worked late into the morning at the scene.

Tabor College spent much of the day meeting the needs of its students and staff as they processed the news. They released the news to the public late in the evening.

“The Tabor College community is devastated by the tragic loss of Christopher Castillo, Johnethon Aviles, and of the significant injuries sustained by Jonathan Medina,” President David Janzen said. “We extend our prayers to the Castillo, Aviles and Medina families, asking for comfort, peace and God’s presence during this unimaginable time.”

More from Laura Fowler Paulus
County sets firework dates
The Marion County Board of Commissioners met on Monday, June 10 for...
Read More