Four young men died Friday night when the car they were riding in was hit broadside on an icy southern Minnesota highway, the Minnesota State Patrol said.
Authorities said John Mangen, 18, of Fairfax; Caleb Quesenberry, 17, of St. Peter; Payton Adams, 17, and Tyler Hadley, 20, both of Sleepy Eye, all died at the scene.
"It's a very tragic and sad event in our little town of 3,500," Sleepy Eye School District Superintendent John Cselovszki said. "This is one of those things that no community should ever have to experience."
The community first got an inkling something was wrong when they heard helicopters during intermission of the high school's spring musical, Cselovszki said. By Saturday morning authorities confirmed that students from the community had been involved in an accident.
Cselovszki said Sleepy Eye is having a hard time dealing with the tragedy. "I'll be honest with you — it's very tragic and unique. We have students and the students' parents are our staff. So we have two staff members that are grieving — as well as we've lost two former students."
The high school was open today from 10 a.m. to noon to provide counseling for students. Cselovszki said about 30 students came today to talk to each other and to the counselors. Counselors are training school personnel to provide support to those grieving.