Lyle Students Return to School 3 Days After Semi Crash

January 19, 2018 05:59 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Three days after a semi-truck barreled into an art classroom in Lyle, students returned to class Friday with additional counselors on hand.



Counselors from several area school districts were available for students to talk to with their concerns about the incident and its aftermath. Lyle school social worker LuAnn Stroup said there were lots of hugs and even a few tears shed when students came back together.


"A lot of students remember the noise and the smell," she said. "We're hearing now of some kids having trouble sleeping, having some nightmares, waking up."


Around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, the truck collided with a turning vehicle on Highway 218 just outside the school, sending the truck through the wall and injuring four people, including two students in the classroom at the time.


Some parents chose to keep their kids home Friday, Stroup said. Some expressed concerns to her about whether it would be safe for the district to hold classes until she told them engineers had checked out the building and ruled it safe, she said.


Several parents picking up their kids at the end of the day said they thought overall the district handled the situation well and was accommodating to their needs. One parent said by the time Friday morning rolled around, her kids were just ready to get back to their normal routine.


Once students returned, they were greeted with hearts taped all over the building as a reminder of the unity and love for each other, Stroup said. Other area school districts showed their support for Lyle as well by donning the school's colors.


"We who operate as a consortium have always said we're in this together, and it really feels that way now," Stroup said.


The Minnesota State Patrol is still investigating the incident and plans to do a crash reconstruction to figure out what happened in the moments leading up to the crash. Sgt. Troy Christianson said it could be a month before the investigation is wrapped up and a decision is made about whether the driver could face any charges.


Court records show the driver, Jeffrey Kohls of Plato, Minnesota, has had 17 traffic violations since 2001, with the most recent being around four years ago.


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