Residents, family and friends continue to mourn the loss of lives of three young men from Sleepy Eye and a fourth friend who attended school in Springfield.

Residents, family and friends continue to mourn the loss of lives of three young men from Sleepy Eye and a fourth friend who attended school in Springfield.

Students and staff at Sleepy Eye Public and St. Mary’s High Schools are trying to cope with the deaths of John Mangen, 18, of Fairfax; Payton Adams, 17; and Tyler Hadley, 20, both of Sleepy Eye, whose lives were tragically lost Friday night, March 7 in a motor vehicle accident. The driver of the vehicle they were in lost control on an icy curve on Highway 14, just west of Sleepy Eye, and their car was broadsided by an oncoming vehicle.

Injured in the accident was Kansas Adams, 19 of Sleepy Eye. His current condition is unknown as of Tuesday afternoon.

Also killed in the accident was Caleb Quesenberry, 17 of Springfield. He attended Springfield Public Schools where he was currently a senior. Caleb is the son of Alroy and Jill Quesenberry of St. Peter.

The car, a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Kansas Adams, was headed west on Highway 14 and lost control on the icy curve, entering the east bound lane. A 1999 Dodge Ram pickup, driven by Douglas Wiborg, 43, of New Ulm, broadsided the car’s passenger side, according to Minnesota State Patrol.

Wiborg and his children, Jakob, 9, and Sydney, 7, sustained non- critical injuries. They were all wearing seatbelts and Wiborg had not been drinking said Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol.

Kansas Adams was the only one in the car known to be wearing a seatbelt. It is unknown if the car’s front seat passenger was wearing a seatbelt, but all three young men in the back seat of the car were not, Roeske added.

“This tragedy, as well as the one outside of Northfield (two weeks ago), illustrates that losing control on an icy road can be absolutely devastating,” Roeske said. “These families are suffering a horrific tragedy.” 

Superintendent John Cselovszki of Sleepy Eye Public School opened the doors of the school on Monday where classes were not in session due to a scheduled inservice day. Students were able to gather and meet with grief counselors and clergy.

Tyler Hadley graduated with the class of 2012 and John Mangen with the class of 2013 at Sleepy Eye Public High School. Payton Adams attended St. Mary’s High School where he was a junior.

“The tragic accident has left an impact on the Sleepy Eye community,” Cselovszki said. “My condolences go out to the families of these young men. I am proud of our community and staff who have helped in this time of need.” 

Several prayer services were held over the weekend, in both Sleepy Eye and Springfield, attended by several hundred people.

St. Mary’s High School Principal Jerry Neubauer said school was in session Monday and the day was spent helping students deal with their grief by providing grief counselors and time for students to talk.

“We knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of academics going on, but it was important for the students to be together. They needed to be able to talk to each other,” he said. “The day was about consoling each other and the beginning of the healing process.” 

In addition to grief counseling by the clergy, Catholic Charities provided a grief counselor as well as literature for students, teachers and parents.

On Sunday, the junior class at St. Mary’s held their confirmation at St. Mary’s Church. This was a service that Payton Adams would have taken part in.

“It was good that the junior class was together,” Neubauer added.

Funeral services for Caleb Quesenberry were held Tuesday at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Springfield.

Services for John Mangen were held Wednesday, March 12 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sleepy Eye.

Services for Tyler Hadley are being held today (Thursday, March 13) at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye.

Visitation for Payton Adams will be Thursday, March 20 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the St. Mary’s gymnasium and will continue on Friday, March 21 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Sturm Funeral Home, Sleepy Eye. Services will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Friday, March 21, at 10:30 a.m.

Complete obituaries for John Mangen, Tyler Hadley and Payton Adams can be found on page 5A in the print edition or online under Obituaries.