Semi hits Lyle Public School; Injuries reported

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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Semi hits Lyle Public School; Injuries reported

By Mike Stoll
Published 9:14 am Tuesday, January 16, 2018

An accident between a semi and car Tuesday morning caused the semi to lose control and crash into the Lyle Public School, sending two students to the hospital and injuring one in the crash.

According to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Troy Christianson, a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by Tina Louise Corporon, 49, of Austin, was southbound on Highway 218 in Lyle and had slowed to turn left onto Pershing Avenue when the semi traveling behind her rear-ended the Malibu.

After the collision, the semi, driven by Jeffrey Mark Kohls, 52, of Plato, Minnesota, continued across the northbound lane, through the ditch, and struck the school. The incident happened about 8:20 a.m. Corporon and Kohls were not injured, but a passenger in the car, Ivy Elizabeth Corporon, 16, was transported to Mayo Health System-Austin, where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

According to Superintendent of Schools Bryan Boysen, the semi crashed into the west wall of the high school art room. The entire cab entered the room where there were 12 students in class during the first period of the school day.

Boysen said he could confirm that two students, neither of whom were identified, were taken by ambulance to Austin. He described their injuries as head injuries, but did not believe the injuries were serious.

Boysen said that he was alerted to the incident when the school’s fire alarm went off. He entered the hallway leading to the classroom where he saw smoke. Employees directed him to the classroom where the semi was completely embedded.

“I entered the art classroom, walked in and saw a semi staring at me,” Boysen said.

School staff used their fire evacuation plan and all students were evacuated and sent to Our Saviors Lutheran Church to be picked up by their parents. While at the church, students were checked out by a first responder as a precaution.

Even with the two students injured inside the building, both Boysen and Christianson said the accident could have been a lot worse.

“The staff did a great job and … it makes you realize we’re family,” Boysen said.

“The Good Lord was watching over us,” Boysen went on to say. “It could have been a lot worse.”

Christianson said a reason it wasn’t any worse was that the semi struck a load-bearing wall, preventing the semi from going further into the building.

School was canceled for the remainder of the day and Boysen announced in an email to parents that it would be cancelled Wednesday as the school assesses the damage.

“We are already in the process of concealing and repairing it,” Boysen said, adding that a contractor from Austin would be going over the damage Tuesday. Part of the concern, Boysen said, is the possibility of roof collapse due to the damage.

Gold Cross Ambulance and the Mower County Sheriff’s Department were also on the scene as well as counselors who were made available for students and staff if they needed to talk.

—Eric Johnson and Deb Nicklay contributed to this report

Minnesota State Troopers along with Lyle firefighters at the scene of a semi that collided with the west side of Lyle Public School Tuesday morning in Lyle. Eric Johnson/

A car involved in a two-vehicle accident Tuesday outside of Lyle Public School, sits in the ditch while in the background sits the semi that collided with the school. Eric Johnson/

A rough track leads to a semi, embedded in the side of Lyle Public School Tuesday morning. The semi left Highway 218 in Lyle after trying to avoid a car making a turn, striking it in the right rear of the vehicle. Eric Johnson/

Gold Cross and Lyle First Responders stage at the front entrance of Lyle High School Tuesday morning where a semi collided with the west side of the building. Eric Johnson/

A Minnesota State Patrol trooper surveys the accident scene on Highway 218 Tuesday morning involving a car, foreground, and a semi that left the road and collided with Lyle Public School. Eric Johnson/