Friends, family remember Sheboygan teen killed

Posted at 10:26 PM, Mar 02, 2016

Friends and family gathered to remember a Sheboygan South High School sophomore killed in a crash on his 16th birthday.

Friends say Sean Zempel had just gotten his driver's license a few hours before crashing his car in Sheboygan County Tuesday.

"He passed his driving test and got his license that afternoon," says Danielle Bossler. "He dropped off a friend, then went for a drive on his own. But he never came home."

Sheriff's deputies say Zempel lost control of his car after passing over railroad tracks on Stahl Road. He crashed into a tree, and his car caught fire.

"My sister and he were in a relationship," Bossler says.  "She and I were driving on the highway going to a basketball game Tuesday evening, and we saw the emergency vehicles on Stahl Road. We saw there had been a crash. We didn't think anything of it. Sean's mom texted my sister about 10 minutes after we passed it, and asked if we knew where Sean was. We didn't know where he was. We didn't know it was him in that accident."

Zempel was on the swim team at Sheboygan South. He was a good student, and a friend to many.

"He always had a smile on his face," Bossler says. "He was always positive and kind."

"He always tried to make people happy," adds Emily Krebsbach. "You always knew that he'd be there for you no matter what."

Now, everyone wants to be there for Zempel's parents and younger brother. They were the focus of a prayer service Wednesday night at First United Lutheran Church.

"I can't imagine how they feel right now," Bossler says. "I don't think it has completely sunk in for any of us."

"Everybody is in shock," Krebsbach says. "You never expect something like this to happen."