3 critical after 'horrific crash' involving school van and semi

4 of the 7 children in the van are siblings.

The names and ages of seven students involved in a crash between a Hancock Public School transport van and a semi in west-central Minnesota on Monday have been released by the Swift County Sheriff's Office. 

Three children who were airlifted to hospitals in the Twin Cities are in critical conditions while four others are in stable condition at area hospitals. Here are the names:

  • Gaige Sanderson, 16, of Danvers, critical condition.
  • Braydn Sanderson, 15, of Danvers, treated and released.
  • Harleigh Schlief, 16, of Danvers, critical condition.
  • Savannah Schlief, 14, of Danvers, critical condition.
  • Natasha Schlief, 12, of Danvers, stable condition.
  • Blade Schlief, 10, of Danvers, stable condition.
  • Korah Schroeder, 10, of Holloway, stable condition.

The van was traveling south on 130th Avenue Northwest and was struck by the semi while turning out onto County Road 20, about 13 miles west of Benson, Minnesota.

The driver of the semi told the Star Tribune that the school van's driver failed to yield before turning onto the road. 

The four Schlief children are siblings, with friends of the family posting well wishes on Facebook.

One friend, Casey Olson, posted an update to the Benson Class of '97 Facebook group Monday night on the condition of the Schliefs, after speaking with their mother.

She said Savannah Schlief has a brain injury and bleeding and was airlifted to the Twin Cities. Harleigh meanwhile was suffering back pain and cuts.

The other two were thrown from the van, she said. 

"It's very traumatic," Swift County Sheriff John Holtz said Monday night. "It's a horrific crash. Then, with children involved ... it really hits home." 

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