PERU – Over 200 gathered on the Peru State College campus Tuesday for a candlelight vigil in honor of student Justin Haystrand, who died from injuries suffered Sunday in a Highway 75 accident.
Speakers included College President Dan Hanson, Football Coach Steve Schneider, kinesiology Professor Kyle Ryan, girlfriend Charleen, teammates and family members.
AJ Flodman, who earned conference recognition as a punt returner, shared classes with Haystrand as kinesiology majors. He said he admires Haystrand’s attitude on and off the football field.
Flodman: “A very team above self guy, just tough all around. Probably one of the toughest guys I’ve ever met.”
He said Haystrand also showed his unselfishness by being an organ donor to save other lives.
Flodman said the vigil was good for the campus.
Flodman: “It’s good to get everybody here. It’s just kind of like an honorary thing for him. I’m sure he’s looking down and is super happy, you know, seeing the crowd out here. We’ve been out here too many times with the passing of a cheerleader and a softball coach. Hopefully, this is the last time to go around, but I think everybody agrees it gets the whole community here.”
Speakers talked about Haystrand’s resiliency in times of sorrow and asked for support for Haystrand’s teammate, Andrew Shackelford, who was also injured in the accident.