Witness: 'Diesel fuel spraying everywhere and kids screaming' when semi hits school, injuring 4

A witness to a semi crashing into a school Tuesday morning described the scene as “diesel fuel spraying everywhere and kids screaming.”

Posted: Jan 16, 2018 9:10 AM
Updated: Feb 8, 2019 10:40 AM

LYLE, Minnesota – A witness to a semi crashing into a school Tuesday morning described the scene as “diesel fuel spraying everywhere and kids screaming.”
Mark Lonergan, who saw the crash transpire, described the scene that left four injured and the nose of the semi inside the school to KIMT Tuesday morning. The Minnesota State Patrol says two students and two people in a car that was rear-ended that triggered the accident were transported for minor injuries.
NAMES RELEASED OF THOSE INVOLVED IN SEMI-SCHOOL CRASH.
Lonegran described the scene as a semi and a car being involved in an accident before the semi darted toward the school.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the semi and the car were headed southbound on Highway 218 when the car tried to turn left. Authorities say the semi was unable to slow down and struck the rear end of the car before it went into the ditch and hit the school.
SEMI DRIVER HAS MORE THAN A DOZEN PREVIOUS TRAFFIC CITATIONS.
Authorities say the semi hit a load-bearing wall and the driver was uninjured. Highway 218 is about 100 yards from the school.
“Me and another semi driver ran into the school to see if we could help or at least get into the school to get the kids out,” Lonegran said. “Luckily, no kids got hurt very badly.”
The school is located just off Highway 218, a busy highway that runs from the Iowa border to Austin, Minnesota.
The school said on its website that classes Wednesday have been canceled. 
“My biggest fear was there were a bunch of kids in the classroom,” Lonegran said. “I knew there could be kids hurt or injured.”
Lonegran also said there needs to be more safety precautions put into place due to the location of the Highway in connection to the school.
Superintendent Bryan Boysen of Lyle Public Schools says once the semi hit the building the fire alaram went off, so they evacuated the school like there was a fire.  Boysen says if the semi would have hit the school any other way more could have been injured and possible fatalities.
He says social workers and counselors will be on staff once school is back in session, but for now the school is unsafe.
“It’s one of those things that probably shouldn’t have happened,” Lonegran said.
A student at the school described the crash as sounding “like a bomb went off.”
A parent said they were alerted of the situation via text message and said they were told to pick up their children at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.
Highway 218 was re-opened just before noon.
MNDOT says 2,900 vehicles travel on that highway every day.  They say the last crash they saw happen near the school was in 2014 with no injuries.  Those with MNDOT say the city has never reported concerns about the highway being so close to the school but after every accident they do re-evaluate situations to see if things get be fixed.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 95659

Reported Deaths: 2056
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin26960930
Ramsey10911320
Dakota7524126
Anoka6092133
Stearns401024
Washington379955
Scott257433
Olmsted244628
Nobles197116
Blue Earth16996
Wright16327
St. Louis160241
Carver14197
Clay138940
Rice13358
Mower13285
Sherburne115014
Kandiyohi10112
Winona88718
Lyon6954
Waseca6698
Benton5523
Steele5472
Freeborn5424
Nicollet54016
Watonwan5284
Crow Wing51618
Todd4952
Chisago4941
McLeod4882
Le Sueur4674
Otter Tail4414
Beltrami4215
Martin40810
Goodhue3659
Itasca32814
Pine3280
Douglas3102
Polk3054
Isanti2971
Becker2802
Carlton2701
Morrison2492
Dodge2390
Cottonwood2250
Pipestone22510
Chippewa2141
Meeker2022
Wabasha1960
Sibley1923
Brown1912
Yellow Medicine1822
Cass1804
Rock1730
Unassigned17052
Redwood1673
Mille Lacs1643
Murray1642
Renville1518
Jackson1481
Faribault1450
Swift1381
Houston1280
Kanabec1258
Roseau1230
Koochiching1223
Fillmore1200
Pennington1191
Lincoln1110
Hubbard1031
Stevens1031
Pope940
Big Stone820
Aitkin801
Wadena690
Wilkin653
Grant614
Lake590
Lac qui Parle581
Norman540
Marshall521
Mahnomen481
Red Lake451
Traverse310
Clearwater270
Lake of the Woods221
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 85533

Reported Deaths: 1305
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15872262
Woodbury544764
Johnson512627
Black Hawk448990
Linn4010111
Story344417
Dubuque325741
Scott301128
Dallas278538
Pottawattamie211338
Buena Vista199112
Marshall178434
Sioux16183
Wapello133357
Webster125514
Plymouth114121
Clinton112121
Muscatine110855
Crawford10885
Cerro Gordo105721
Warren9566
Jasper83832
Des Moines7848
Marion7637
Henry7434
Tama71331
Carroll6625
Lee6377
Wright5811
Dickinson5276
Boone5078
Bremer4927
Washington45911
Louisa42915
Mahaska41219
Delaware4023
Floyd3493
Jackson3493
Franklin34818
Winneshiek3356
Clay3264
Lyon3264
Hamilton3223
Benton3101
Winnebago30313
Hardin2991
Poweshiek2958
Buchanan2791
Jones2743
Butler2702
Kossuth2700
Shelby2671
Clarke2653
Emmet26510
Allamakee2616
Clayton2523
Chickasaw2500
Sac2500
Cherokee2492
Cedar2461
Guthrie2456
Fayette2222
Harrison2223
Grundy2203
Madison2192
Iowa2091
Palo Alto2020
Humboldt1903
Mitchell1900
Howard1886
Hancock1842
Calhoun1833
Mills1801
Page1700
Cass1682
Osceola1610
Monroe15911
Pocahontas1592
Lucas1566
Monona1531
Jefferson1381
Appanoose1363
Union1353
Taylor1301
Davis1244
Ida1221
Fremont1180
Van Buren1141
Keokuk1091
Worth1080
Greene1010
Montgomery965
Wayne862
Audubon821
Adair721
Decatur670
Ringgold502
Adams330
Unassigned170
Rochester
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 54°
Mason City
Overcast
58° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 58°
Albert Lea
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 55°
Austin
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 57°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
59° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 59°
One Last Mild Day
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events