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Tad Vezner, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Published February 28 2014

Three college students killed in collision near Northfield

NORTHFIELD, Minn. - Three Carleton College students died on an icy road near Northfield on Friday after the SUV they were riding in spun out of control and crashed into an oncoming semi truck, the Minnesota State Patrol said.

James Adams, 20, of St. Paul; Michael Goodgame, 20, of Westport, Conn.; and Paxton Harvieux, 21, of Stillwater, all died in the collision about a mile north of Northfield on Minnesota 3.

Two other Carleton students were injured in the crash, including the SUV's driver, William Sparks, 20, of Evanston, Ill., and passenger Conor Eckert, 19, of Seattle. Both were in serious condition at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis on Friday evening.

No alcohol was detected in Sparks' system, the State Patrol said, adding that all five men were wearing seat belts. The SUV's airbags had been deployed.

The driver of the semi, Terry Danny, 56, of Pioneer, Tenn., was not injured, the State Patrol said. No alcohol was detected in his system.

The broadside collision occurred shortly before 3 p.m. on Minnesota 3 at County Road 47 north of Northfield. It had snowed during the day.

According to a preliminary report by the State Patrol, Sparks' 1997 Toyota 4Runner sport utility vehicle was northbound on the two-lane Highway 3 near the intersection when it spun out of control and into the southbound lane, where it was broadsided by Danny's 2007 International Tractor.

A witness at the scene, Andrew Struss, 32, of St. Peter, told the Northfield News newspaper that "the roads were horrible. ... It looked like the Toyota slid right into the semi and was broadsided between the wheels."

Struss said at least two of the three deceased were seated on the passenger side of the vehicle.

Carleton President Steven Poskanzer released a written statement late Friday offering condolences to the students' family and friends.

"The collective Carleton soul aches for the loss of these three young men," Poskanzer said. "Right now, we need to focus all our love and compassion on supporting the families and friends of all these young men, along with everyone in our community who cares for them."

The private liberal arts college said Adams was a chemistry major, Goodgame was studying political science, and Harvieux was studying computer science.

The State Patrol continued to investigate the crash late Friday.