Viborg, SD (KSFY) - It’s been a difficult holiday weekend for many families in the Viborg-Hurley school district.
Two teens were killed and another was seriously injured in a crash Friday night at an unmarked rural intersection just outside of Viborg.
It’s a danger many communities face in the fall when the corn is high for harvest and intersections become very dangerous.
“When it comes to those gravel roads and there's corn up and its late at night, there's just really no way of knowing where anybody's at,” Viborg-Hurley class of 2017 graduate Logan Hansen said.
Friends say all three teens were heading home after a Friday night football game.
“It’s been really shocking,” Hansen said. “Because a lot of people saw them at the game that night, then the next day, it just changed completely.”
Brady Patterson was in his second year at Southeast Tech. He was a 2017 graduate of Viborg-Hurley.
“Coming from a small school, you know everyone very well,” Class of 2017 graduate Kirsten Paetow said.
“Twenty-five of us graduated together and you knew each person personally,” Hansen said.
The injured driver of the other vehicle involved and his passenger, 17-year-old Kelley Fox, were both juniors in the same school district.
“It’s every age level,” local mom Joey Pulscher said. “Grade school, middle school kids, siblings, nieces, nephews, this is going to touch every single person that walks the halls of the school.”
As the community comes together to grieve, the heart-breaking accident is also reminding many families to be cautious.
“I think everybody is a little bit more aware,” Pulscher said. “Reminding kids before they get behind the wheel, it can happen in the blink of an eye.”
“You can't see oncoming traffic in the intersections because the corn can be 8-to-12 feet tall,” Sargeant Steve Swenson with the South Dakota Highway Patrol said.
Law enforcement say corn and other crops increase the danger for drivers.
“These blind intersections, this time of the year, you almost have to come to a complete stop to make sure you're safe to pass,” Sgt. Swenson said.
“You don't think that somebody is going to be on a rural road at midnight,” Pulscher said. “It’s just a true tragedy.”
Community members have already started a GoFundMe page for the families and are organizing a community spaghetti feed and silent auction at the Viborg-Hurley High School this Sunday to help raise support for all three families affected by this crash.
“We just want to be there to let them know that we all care about them and that we love them and their children are like our own, our kids are their friends, and we just want to be there to support them any way we can in the weeks and months to come,” Pulscher said.
“We know that this isn't just a week thing, we know it’s not just a couple of days, we know it’s a hurt that's going to be here for a long time, and we will continue to be here for all of them,” event organizer Nicole Paetow said.