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Pelican Rapids teen remembered; injured teen home from hospital

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AP Photos MNMIT101-104

PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) — More than 1,000 students and residents gathered Monday at Pelican Rapids High School to remember the teenager who died when a bus carrying students home from a band trip tipped on its side and slid into a ditch.

A picture of Jessica Weishair, 16, of Barnesville, stood at the entrance to the gymnasium. She was killed in the crash Saturday morning along Interstate 94 near Albertville as two buses carrying students and their chaperones was returning to this northwestern Minnesota town from Chicago.


Members of the band stood together at the front of the gymnasium dressed in orange T-shirts, hugging and crying.

High school counselor Marlys Ebersviller read a poem Weishair had written to describe herself:

"Lover of shopping at the mall, laughing with friends and the last day of school; Who feels excitement on roller coasters, nervous when taking tests and fear when alone in the dark; ... Who fears death of a family member; ...Who lives in a brown house in the country."

Meanwhile, Haley Hoyer, 16, was released from a Coon Rapids hospital Monday. She suffered a broken ankle, broken nose and cuts and bruises in the crash. Haley, sitting near the front of the bus, said she felt the bus hit a bump before being pitched several rows behind her seat. "All I remember is bumping and then being on our side of the bus," she said.

"We’re all just really lucky that there was only her," Hoyer said, in reference to Weishair. "And I feel really bad that she was the one that had to go."

Two students remained hospitalized — one in critical condition, the other in fair condition — at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.

Doug Neville, a spokesman for the State Patrol, said Monday that the agency had no new details to release about the crash and that the cause remained under investigation.

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