WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published December 23, 2010, 07:51 PM

Witnesses of Crash That Killed 2 Children Recall Scene, Trying to Help

Witnesses of a deadly semi-van collision just outside of Grand Forks tell WDAZ the semi driver ran a red light, hitting the van. The two witnesses say they tried to help out right after, and attempted to calm the 3-year-old who was injured.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

Witnesses of a deadly semi-van collision just outside of Grand Forks tell WDAZ the semi driver ran a red light, hitting the van.

2 children were killed in that crash, which happened Wednesday morning at the intersection of U.S. Highway 2 and County Road 5, or Airport Road.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol continues to investigate the accident; no charges have been filed yet.

8-year-old Kaylee-Jo Marie Boyer and her 5-year-old brother, Kevin Boyer III died in the accident.

A third passenger, 3-year-old XXAXX Boyer (pronounced Zax) was injured. The driver of the van the children were riding in was 39-year old Kevin Boyer Jr. of rural Grand Forks. He's also hurt but both he and XXAXX are listed in satisfactory condition at Altru Hospital.

The driver of the Semi, 64-year old Steven Nelson of Jamestown was treated and released from Altru on Wednesday evening.

WDAZ talked with two people who say they saw the deadly crash and did what they could to help immediately after.

David Cunningham and his son Andy where coming home from the airport where they had just picked up a package at Fed Ex. They say they entered the intersection on highway 2 at the same time as the Boyer's van.

"And even though the light was green. I look to the right and as I looked, the semi came by and hit the van. Right in front of me and I said 'this is not happening,'" David Cunningham said.

The Cunninghams pulled over near the van where they found 5-year-old Kevin Boyer III who had been thrown out of the van and 8-year-old Kaylee-Jo Marie Boyer unresponsive in the back of the van. Both of the children did not survive the crash.

"At that time we didn't say anything to the father because he was already hysterical, and I was concerned about his well-being, too," David said.

Andy Cunningham was the first to attend to 3-year-old XXAXX Boyer who was hurt but conscious in the back of the van.

"I was telling 'you're going to be fine, just relax, try to stay calm,'" Andy said.

XXAXX and his father were taken to Altru Hospital. Later on Wednesday night, Andy brought a teddy bear to the Hospital for the injured 3-year-old.

"And I caught his mom outside and I talked to her and explained to her what we had seen," Andy said.

"And she was glad that someone knew what was going on," David said.

The Cunninghams say it was only a matter of seconds that separated their car from the semi that hit the Boyers.

"It could have been us," David said.

"I much rather it would have been us than those poor little kids," Andy said.

And as traumatic as it was for everyone involved, it was important for the Cunninghams to be there to help.

"We did what we were supposed to do. We helped somebody. Even though you don't know what to do. Just by being there, putting a blanket on them, talking to them, is a lot," David Cunningham said.

Grand Forks county states attorney Peter Welte says his office is working on the investigation with the State Patrol to decide what, if any, charges will be filed.

"When there is a fatality, usually we are in constant contact with the Highway Patrol and they with us. They do conduct a very professional investigation and stay in communication with the law enforcement agencies involved," Welte said.

Welte expects to have some decision next week if anyone will be charged in the accident.