It's not just people in Cottonwood feeling the pain of the deaths of the four children aboard that school bus. People throughout southwest Minnesota are overwhelmed by the tragedy as well.
A Tyler convenience store is a typical gathering place for small talk and gossip. But today the talk is much heavier, with so many people here having ties to Cottonwood.
Becky Brownlee of Lake Benton says, "It affects everybody. Everybody just has the sad feeling. It's just tragic."
Becky Brownlee attended church in Cottonwood while Doreen Krog has a son, daughter-in-law and grandson in the town. When she heard about the accident, for a moment her heart skipped a beat.
Doreen Krog of Tyler says, "When you have grandchildren, you worry there too. It's very hard, very hard. God be with them, that's all we can say."
This crash just hits too close to home.
Kay Wooge of Florence says, "Your own kids could be on that bus. It doesn't have to be a Cottonwood bus it could be an RTR bus. It could happen to your own kids"
And the feeling of helplessness affects everyone.
Krog says, "This is secondhand, what we feel. What they must be going through; it's got to be tough. "
Wooge says, "I feel very sad for them and hope somehow they can pull it all together and keep going on."