Otsego teens injured in crash speak out

Three families in Otsego, Minnesota, are counting their blessings after three Rogers High School students who were hit by a truck on their way to school last month are expected to recover.

Several fundraisers and community events are scheduled for this week to help support the families of the students who were hit. While they lived to tell their stories, there are months or even years of recovery ahead.

It was a walk students often take for granted, just crossing the street to catch the bus.

“I remember seeing lights from my left, so I turned to my side and saw headlights right there and I sort of blanked out,” said Ian Orina.

Like Orina, Gretta Jensen also doesn't remember what happened next.

“It feels like something's missing. But, I think it might be better that I don't [remember],” Jensen said.

Jensen and classmate Beckett Olson were injured after a truck hit them near Parrish Avenue Northeast and 78th Street in Otsego.

According to court documents, the driver, Cody Pech, told investigators he didn't see the students until it was too late.

“I have fractures all over my face,” Orina said.

“[I have] My ulna fracture, left and right arm, I have a small fracture pretty much behind my knee [and] I have a concussion,” Jensen said.

“He did get surgery to repair the bones in his right leg, he had some bleeding and swelling on his brain,” said Madison Almquist, Olson’s sister.

While Orina and Jensen are out of the hospital, Olson is now recovering at Gillette Children's.

“It's not something you expect to be living in,” Almquist said. “It's hard to think that's what actually happened.

The families’ pain was eased by the outpouring of support from the community.

“It’s been a tidal wave of love and gratitude on our family and everybody else's,” said one parent.

The students said their classmates have been a part of that love, as well.

“I can't wait to get back to school, to see them all and say thank you,” Orina said.

Orina expects to return to school this Tuesday with Jensen returning as soon as she is ready. Beckett's family says they're not worried about school right now and are most focused on his recovery.
Find more information on the fundraiser planned here.

Cody Pech faces three counts of criminal vehicular operation, and is scheduled to be in court again next month.