COTTONWOOD, Minn. — Four students were killed and at least 14 people were injured on Tuesday in a crash involving a school bus, a van and a pick-up truck.
According to an accident report from the Minnesota State Patrol, the school bus — which was carrying 28 students from Lakeview Schools ISD 2167 — was traveling southbound when the van, traveling eastbound, impacted the right side of the bus. The bus then rolled to the left and collided with the pick-up.
Cottonwood Fire Chief Dale Louluagie confirmed that three fatalities of the crash died immediately upon impact; the fourth victim died around 8 p.m. on Tuesday night, FOX 9 reported. Injured parties were transported to area hospitals.
“We have suffered a terrible loss to our Lakeview community,” Superintendent Sheldon Johnson said. “At a time like this, our school becomes a refuge for those in our educational community who need a place to share their grief or confusion, or need to support others in their time of need.”
Prayer services were held for the crash victims — Hunter Javens, 9; Jesse Javens, 13; Emilee Olson, 9; and Reed Stevens, 12. The school district and a local bank established a fund to assist the affected families.
“This is a sad night for Minnesota,” Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Tuesday. “It is especially heartbreaking when young lives are lost. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were killed or injured in this tragic accident.”