- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - Only the driver was wearing a seat belt when a sport-utility vehicle crashed in northern Colorado, injuring five students and two adults from a South Dakota school, the Colorado State Patrol said Wednesday.

The driver was Kyle Henderson, 26, of Box Elder, S.D., state trooper Nate Reid said.

The other victims’ names haven’t been released, but Reid said they were three 13-year-old girls, two 14-year-old girls and a 26-year-old woman.

All seven were hospitalized. KELO-TV in Sioux Falls, S.D., reported one adult had been released from the hospital and two students were expected to be released within a few days.

The five were students and teachers at a McLaughlin, S.D., school, according to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which straddles the border of North and South Dakota. They were returning from a meeting in Denver.

The crash occurred on Interstate 25 about 16 miles south of the Wyoming Border. The SUV hit ice, drifted into median and rolled at least twice, the State Patrol said.

“It’s been a big shock to the community,” tribal spokesman D.J. Two Bears told KXMB-TV in Bismarck, N.D. “So a lot of people have been praying and hoping for the best. Hearts are a little sad right now, so just hoping for the safety and well-being of the children and staff members.”

The school flew some administrators and family members to Colorado after the crash and made counselors available at the school for students and staff, KELO reported.

Everett Jamerson, who is related to one of the students involved in the crash, said 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. Support from the community is helping him and other family members, he said.

School Superintendent Patricia Stone declined to comment to The Associated Press, citing privacy concerns. Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II did not immediately respond to AP requests for comment.

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