Boy describes rear-end school bus crash in Byron, Minn. - Fox 2 News Headlines

Boy describes rear-end school bus crash in Byron, Minn.

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BYRON, Minn. (KMSP) -

The tight-knit community of Byron, Minn., is mourning the loss of a popular student who died after the van she was driving rear-ended a stopped school bus on the first day of school.

Investigators still aren't sure what caused the crash, but whether it was a case of distracted driving, mechanical failure, or a medical emergency, the small town is still reeling from the death of 17-year-old Deianerah Logan.

Byron is the kind of small town where traffic will come to a standstill when a train rolls through, and when tragedy strikes on the first day of school, the entire community feels it.

"There's a piece of the bus right there," Ethan Hinton, the 7-year-old who was exiting the bus when the crash happened, pointed out. "I got a terrible bruise, and she didn't make it."

Hinton was getting off the school bus in front of his home a few miles outside of town when the minivan hit.

"I think she slammed on the brakes," he said, "but I don't see any tracks on the road anywhere."

The impact of the crash was so powerful, Ethan's great uncle, David Larsen, came running.

"There was a cloud of steam," he recalled.

Larsen told FOX 9 News the impact sheered the roof halfway off the van, trapping Logan for over an hour.

"I looked in at her. Her face was gaunt, white," he recalled. "She looked like an angel in there."

Sadly, that angel wasn't long for this world. She died on the first day of her senior year of high school after she was airlifted to St. Mary's hospital.

"It's devastating," Byron superintendent Jeff Elstad said of Logan's death. "Teachers are teaching about life today. It's a great lesson for us to remember some things are bigger than us."

Elstad says grief counselors will be at the school for as long as they are needed, and Hinton said he and his uncle may go to the funeral. Still, he hopes that drivers will learn to keep an eye out for buses now that the school year has started again.

"I'm going to be okay, but if another car slams into the back of the bus, then I will be scared," he admitted.

The bus driver and the 11-year-old student who was still onboard were shaken up, but are otherwise alright.

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