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October 21, 2014

‘Collective Carleton’s soul aches’ after 3 students killed in crash

Carleton College students and staff are still reeling, several days after three students died and two others were injured in a crash.

The Associated Press says school officials couldn’t recall another time when three students at the 2,000-student school died in a single day.

James Adams, 20, of St. Paul, Paxton Harvieux, 21, of Stillwater, and Michael Goodgame, 20, Westport, Connecticut, died when their SUV spun out on an icy road and was hit broadside by a semitruck Friday afternoon in a crash outside Northfield along Minnesota 3 at County Road 47, the Minnesota State Patrol says.

Lt. Eric Roeske said in a news conference that all three men died at the scene. All of the occupants of the SUV were wearing seat belts, Roeske said. The driver of the semitruck, Terry Danny, 56, of Pioneer, Tennessee, was not injured. No alcohol was detected in either driver, officials say.

Two other Carleton students were injured in the two-vehicle crash, the Star Tribune reports.

Hennepin County Medical Center spokeswoman Christine Hill says William Sparks, 20, of Evanston, Illinois, was in satisfactory condition as of Sunday, and Conor J. Eckert, 19, of Seattle, was in serious condition.

Sparks was the driver of the vehicle, which was heading to the airport in the Twin Cities. All five students were members of the school’s Ultimate Frisbee team, on their way to a tournament in California.

The Los Angeles Times says CUT, as the Carleton team is known, won the national championship most recently in 2011, and had reached the semi-finals six years in a row. The website Ultiworld ranked the CUT team at No. 18 in the nation.

News of the deaths sent a deep wave of shock and grief through Carleton College.

Harvieux was curious and engaging, a “Renaissance kid” from a loving family who played basketball for Carleton and had a warm and affable personality, Guy Kalland, Carleton’s basketball coach, told the Star Tribune. Goodgame was a political science major who also spent two years on the swim team, and Adams was a chemistry major set to graduate next year, according to the university.

The grandfather of one of the three men killed is reflecting on the tragedy. Dave Harvieux, the grandfather of Paxton Harvieux, tells FOX 9 that he feels like he has lost a son.

“I lost a grandson,” Dave Harvieux told the station. “I lost as close to anybody I’ll ever have as a son, and I lost a good friend.”

Hundreds of people gathered at Carleton College on Saturday for a prayer vigil for the students, KSTP reports.

Carleton College President Steve Poskanzer and Dean of Students Hudlin Wagner issued a statement Friday, offering their “heartfelt thoughts and prayers” to the families affected by the tragedy.

“The collective Carleton soul aches for the loss of these three young men,” the administrators said. “Right now, we need to focus all our love and compassion on supporting the families and friends of all these young men, along with everyone in our community who cares for them.”

The statement also offered hopes and prayers “for the full recovery of Will and Conor.”

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