13 teens hurt after van collides with SUV in SE North Dakota

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A van full of 13 teenagers went off the road in southeast North Dakota late Saturday night after colliding with an SUV, sending several victims to the hospital.

The Fargo Forum reports an SUV traveling southbound on County Road 81 attempted to take a left onto County Road 8 in Galchutt, about 40 miles west of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, when the van struck the SUV's passenger side.

The van flew into a ditch, injuring 12 of its passengers, ranging in age from 15 to 19. Some were treated at the scene while others were taken to local hospitals. The 18-year-old driver of the SUV was also taken to the hospital.

All suffered non life-threatening injuries, according to the newspaper. The 16-year-old van driver was not injured.

Highway Patrol Captain Bryan Niewind told the Associated Press that the teens were out having some "innocent fun" and weren't part of any organized school or church group.

The North Dakota Safety Council intends to push for legislation next session that would limit how many passengers young drivers could carry, the Associated Press said.

Similar restrictions have been implemented in about two dozen states, including Minnesota, where passenger limits are put on teen drivers for the first year of licensure.

In the last two months, two passenger van crashes in Minnesota have led to multiple injuries.

Thirteen people were thrown from a van in late October after the vehicle lost control on an icy stretch of I-90 near Worthington and 10 people were hurt in St. Cloud when a van carrying 13 passengers went off an ice-covered overpass.

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