Memorial grows at Peter Hobart Elementary after fatal field trip - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Memorial grows at Peter Hobart Elementary after fatal field trip

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ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (KMSP) -

Parents at Peter Hobart Elementary School probably thought nothing of signing the permission slip for Wednesday's field trip to Lilydale Regional Park, a popular site for finding fossils.

Many school groups visit the park each year. In fact, two more trips were planned for students this week alone -- but those trips won't take place after a gravel slide at the park killed one fourth-grade student and trapped two others in sand and soil for over an hour on Wednesday. One student remains missing and is presumed dead.

After learning the news, many parents rushed to the school and waited to meet their kids as the bus returned to St. Louis Park.

"Bless God!" Amanda Reyes exclaimed as she held her daughter's hand just after the young girl returned from the trip.

"I am glad I have her here. I will not let my child go out [on a field trip] again," Reyes informed FOX 9.

St. Paul police confirmed about 49 students were at the park exploring and looking for fossils as a part of a class trip. At about 1:15 p.m., the ground suddenly gave way, sweeping away a trail that four children were standing on.

"How do you know that six days of rain is going to make something collapse? So you just got to be prayerful and know that God is going to work it out," nodded another relieved mother, Patricia Dudley.

Dudley held her 10-year-old son, Patrick, close as she explained how grateful she was that he was not among those who were hurt.

"I actually wouldn't know what to do but pray and cry and call my pastor, so I'm just praying for [the victims' parents] right now," Dudley said.

Ravi Ramanath, whose daughter also returned unscathed, says he will be praying, too.

"These are accidents, and accidents are never planned. These things happen. That doesn't take my conviction away from public education," he explained. "I am devastated and I only hope God gives them the strength to handle the situation, and I am greatly sorry for the family of the deceased."

School spokeswoman Sara Thompson said counseling services will be offered to students affected by the accident.

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