Six people from a South Dakota school, five of them students, remain hospitalized after a serious crash in Colorado.
Five McLaughlin students and two teachers were on their way back from the Denver March Powwow when the SUV they were in hit ice Monday and rolled near the border of Colorado and Wyoming. One staff member has been released from the hospital. Two students are expected to be released within the next few days according to a news release from the McLaughlin School.
The school flew some administrators and family members to Colorado after they learned of the crash. The school is also providing support and accommodations to family members according to the release. Others are in McLaughlin, anxiously waiting to hear updates. Community members say prayers are going up continuously.
"I'm just praying for their recovery, all of them," Valerie Archambault said.
Archambault has a granddaughter in 8th grade at the McLaughlin School who she says was on the trip to Colorado for a pow wow. The group was on its way home Monday when the SUV they were in rolled at about 8 a.m. Family members received calls later that morning.
"My daughter ran in crying, saying that her daughter was in a car accident,” Archambault said. “We went to the school and that's when they were making arrangements to send the parents down."
"We're all feeling down," Everett Jamerson said. "We're all in a shock, you know, that this happened to our children."
Jamerson is related to one of the students involved in the crash. He attended a prayer service at the school Monday and spoke with students.
"We told them that it was hard to accept, but these things happen in life, we told them, and they need to be strong," Jamerson said.
He says support from the community is helping him and other family members do the same as they wait for updates from those in Colorado.
"It's too bad that has to happen, you know. We're all feeling sad, but it's one of those things that happens in life so we have to face it with prayer and that's the only thing we can all do here in town," Jamerson said.
The school superintendent and a principal are in Colorado to assist families. Counselors are available at the school to talk with students and staff as needed according to the release.