Minnesota community grieves for high schoolers killed in crash

Senior Alexis Hasser and junior Gavin Butenhoff died in the crash on Saturday morning.
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Senior Alexis Hasser and junior Gavin Butenhoff died in the crash on Saturday morning.
Gavin Butenhoff and Alexis Hasser.

Gavin Butenhoff and Alexis Hasser.

The community of Braham, Minnesota is in mourning following the crash that killed two popular high school students on Saturday.

Senior Alexis Hasser and Junior Gavin Butenhoff died in a 2-vehicle crash at the intersection of 195th Avenue and Rainbow Street in Kanabec County Saturday morning, the local sheriff's office said.

Both were students at Braham High School, and both friends and teachers at the school have been expressing their shock and paying tribute to the couple after the news emerged.

"This is such a bad nightmare," Butenhoff's twin sister Grace Kellum wrote on Facebook. "I just want them both to wake up. My brother, my best friend. This is so unreal. I will never stop being sad. I will never be myself again. My twin brother my other half, I will forever feel empty. They are both in heaven probably getting married. I just want to hug my brother one last time."

"I knew Alexis Hasser since I was 5!!" Vanessa Philipczyk wrote. "To think she is resting in peace is something I’m not ready to accept. I don’t accept that! She is too young! She has a destiny to complete! Come back Alexis!

Braham High School is offering counseling and support sessions between 4-7 p.m. Sunday to any students who require it, with the wider community grieving over the shocking loss.

The Hope Students Ministry in nearby Cambridge has made a similar offer to students or families that need prayer or counseling.

We ask everyone to please be in prayer for the Braham community with us

Braham Police Department put out a plea for residents to "please support one another as the grieving takes place," calling it a "tragic event for our small community."

"Stay strong for your families and loved ones," it added.

Braham is a city of almost 1,800 people about an hour north of Minneapolis.

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