3 Hancock, Minnesota students remain in critical condition after school van crash

- Three Hancock Public Schools students remained in critical condition Tuesday morning following a crash involving their school van and a semi near Danvers, Minnesota. According to the Swift County Sheriff's Office, seven students were passengers in the school van that was involved in a t-bone crash with a semi at about 3:42 p.m. Monday near the corner of County Road 20 and County Road 63 NW.

WHAT HAPPENED? According to the sheriff, the Hancock Public Schools van was headed southbound on 130th Ave NW when it collided with the semi. The semi was traveling east on County Road 20 when the van struck the front driver's wheel of the semi, directly behind the cab. The school van was driven by 68-year-old Judith Van Eps of Hancock. She was listed in stable condition Tuesday morning. The semi was driven by 43-year-old Jeremy Beyer of Danvers. He was treated and released at the scene.

INJURED STUDENTS: The passengers in the school van were identified by the sheriff as: Gaige Sanderson, 16 (critical), Harleigh Schlief, 16 (critical), Braydn Sanderson, 15 (treated and released), Savannah Schlief 14, (critical), Natasha Schlief, 12 (stable), Blade Schlief, 10 (stable) and Korah Schroeder, 10 (stable). Schroeder is from Holloway and all of the other students are from Danvers.

The victims were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment and two or three victims were transported to Twin Cities hospitals by helicopter, according to the sheriff.

“It’s a horrific crash,” Swift County Sheriff John Holtz said. “With children involved, when you have kids yourself, it really hits home.”

The transport van was from Hancock Public Schools. The students were returning home from school after being picked up from the elementary school and high school.

Appleton Ambulance and Fire, Benson Ambulance and Fire, Stevens County Medical Ambulances, Danvers First Responders and Fire and Holloway first responders were paged to assist with the response. The Minnesota State Patrol, Benson Police Department and Appleton Police Department also responded. The crash is still under investigation by the Swift County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol. 

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