By Amanda Dyslin
Free Press Staff Writer
— Three Gustavus Adolphus College students remained in the hospital Tuesday in Peoria, Ill., after a Friday night head-on crash on the interstate.
A group of nine Gustavus students, traveling in two vehicles, were southbound on Interstate 39 in Illinois, on the way to Florida on a spring break trip. The trip wasn’t college-sponsored, said JoNes VanHecke, dean of students. The students decided to go for fun before school resumes Tuesday, she said.
An 85-year-old man from Cleveland, Ohio, was driving the wrong way on the interstate and hit the first vehicle, carrying four of the students, head on. The second vehicle of students couldn’t stop in time and rear-ended the first vehicle, VanHecke said.
The 85-year-old man, whose name has not been released by Illinois police, died.
John C. Anderson, 22, of Appleton, Wis., was in critical condition Tuesday at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.
The driver of the first vehicle of students, Adyn C. Clausen, 22, of St. Louis Park was in serious condition at the same hospital. Jacob S. Klem, 21, of Mahtomedi was in fair condition Tuesday. Jamie A. Hiner, 20, of Kenyon, Minn., was treated and released.
The students in the second vehicle were not injured. They are driver Jonathon T. Carpentier and Alex Tate, both of Prior Lake; Benjamin Ceder, of Oregon, Wis.; David J. Pedersen of Stillwater and Nathan Dittmer of Plymouth.
VanHecke said she wasn’t sure of the exact time of evening or if the 85-year-old’s lights were on. The crash occurred about two miles north of Interstate 80, and according to the Star Tribune, Police Master Sgt. Bob Cessna said that the driver somehow entered the interstate about 12 miles south of the crash scene and kept going until the collision.
VanHecke said the students were not tired at the time of the crash. They had stopped earlier in the evening and were just getting going again on the road when the crash occurred.
“I’m sure they were making good driving decisions,” she said.
VanHecke said the other six students have gone home.