Hundreds of people gathered at Carleton College on Saturday to remember three students who were killed the day before in a car accident near the school, KSTP reports.
A vigil was held to remember James Adams, Paxton Harvieux and Michael Goodgame, who were killed when their SUV spun out on an icy road and collided with an oncoming semitruck Friday afternoon near Northfield, Minnesota, the Pioneer Press reports.
Adams, 20, of St. Paul; Goodgame, 20, of Westport, Connecticut; and Harvieux, 21, of Stillwater, died at the scene of the crash along Minnesota 3 at County Road 47, about a mile north of the city, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.
Two other students — 19-year-old Connor Eckert from Seattle, and 20-year-old William Sparks from Evanston, Illinois, who was the driver – were injured and are recuperating at Hennepin County Medical Center, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
The three men who died were members of the school’s Ultimate Frisbee team, the paper says, and the squad finished third in the country in Div. I competition last year. A school spokesperson tells the paper it is unclear where the five were going, or why they were all in the vehicle together.
“There are not good words to describe the sense of loss that we’re feeling as a community, and the grief,” said Carleton President Steve Poskanzer Saturday, according to KSTP. But he said the close-knit nature of the school will help students and staff deal with the tragedy.
“The love that we have for one another, I believe, will help Carleton in this very difficult time right now,” Poskanzer said.
Matthew Fitzgerald, student body president, described the three students as integral parts of the Carleton community.
“They were really vibrant young men, who brought a lot of energy to this campus, and we’re going to miss them,” Fitzgerald said, according to KSTP.
Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol tweeted that drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash, but they have not ruled out speed.
According to the Star Tribune, Roeske called the accident a “horrible tragedy” for the families involved. He said it was snowy and icy at the time – the type of conditions he and his colleagues have been warning about.
A preliminary investigation shows the SUV has heading northbound on the highway when it spun out, and into the path of a southbound semi.
“Although it seems like white noise because we talk and talk and talk about it,” he said, according to the paper, “this is specifically the kind of situation we’re trying to prevent.”
The driver of the semitruck was uninjured, the paper said. The State Patrol is investigating.
Counseling services were made available to students.