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3 Teens Killed in Minn. Prom Night Crash

May 15, 2006

FOSSTON, Minn. (AP) _ A teenage couple on their way to a high school prom died in a head-on collision that also killed the teen driver of the oncoming vehicle, officials said.

Students attending Fosston High School prom in northwest Minnesota were sent home early when officials learned 16-year-old junior Michael Hove and his date, 16-year-old Emily Setum of Plymouth, had died Saturday while driving to the dance.

Adam Steinmetz, 15, of Mahnomen, also died, the Polk County sheriff’s office said Sunday. The three victims were not wearing seat belts.

Hove’s parents had arrived at the school early to get a seat for the prom’s Grand March. But when the procession finished without their son and his date, Ken Hove drove off to look for them. He saw the flashing emergency lights from miles away.

The prom was later canceled and students were told to call their parents for rides, said Bernadette Sorenson, dean of students.

``Everyone just sat along the bleachers and just kind of sat, didn’t say a word,″ Paula Polasky said. ``I mean, people were crying, and prom didn’t seem like such a big deal anymore.″

About 100 people gathered Sunday night at Hope Lutheran Church for prayer and support.

``We’re really so much in shock _ I don’t know how many of us are thinking clearly,″ said pastor Paul Magelssen. ``I’ve been preaching the last few weeks on the topic of the difficulty of believing. This is one of those events that does not make it easy to believe. Right now it really hurts.″

The school has about 300 students in grades 7-12. Fosston is 280 miles northwest of Minneapolis.

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