Crash Kills 2 Boys Near Family’s Driveway

By James Schugel, WCCO-TV

WINTHROP, Minn. (WCCO) — A Minnesota family is struggling after losing their two boys in a car crash.

Dillan Sommer and his older brother, Trevor, were with their dad in Winthrop, southwest of the Twin Cities.

Another car didn’t see them and slammed into their vehicle on Highway 19 going 55 mph.

“The kids were just full of energy,” said Susie Steele, a friend of the family.

They were like any other boys. They loved sports, and they liked school.

Trevor, 8, was the thinker, while Dillan, 6, was the do-er — daring and unafraid, Steele said.

“I’m just doing whatever I can to get through this,” she said at the family’s home about three miles west of town.

The crash happened at the end of the family’s driveway.

The boys’ father, Nathan, had just picked them up from his parent’s home.

They were sitting on the highway, ready to turn once cars coming the opposite direction had passed. A woman didn’t see them and slammed into the back of the car, killing the boys.

There was fog at the time, but Minnesota State Patrol investigators report the road was dry.

Local paramedics transferred the boys to a New Ulm hospital, before they were transported to the Twin Cities for treatment.

They died Tuesday morning.

Neither boy, according to State Patrol investigators, was wearing a seat belt.

“It really hits home. This is where it really happened,” said another family friend, Dan Fahning.

He couldn’t miss the spot where the crash happened, coming to help care for the family’s horses. The family will continue to drive by it, too.

“It just makes it that they have to deal with it every day they come home. That’s their memory,” Fahning said.

That memory is coupled with the good memories of their boys.

The youngsters, who played with Pokemon, collected baseball cards and wrestled, will be missed.

Trevor’s parents plan to donate his organs.

A fund has been set up for the Sommer family. Donations can be made at:

Nathan and Mandy Sommer
c/o Midcounty Bank
120 E. 2nd Street
PO Box 424
Winthrop, MN 55396

  • Denise Smith

    Why dont you tell the truth she was texting when she rearended the family!!!!

    • Teri Spence

      I hope there is an investigation into this. Surely, they would be able to tell by looking at her phone if she was texting or talking on the phone while the accident occurred.

    • Sally

      and how do you know that? Were you in the car with her?

    • Tammy

      People need to stop jumping to conclusions on that she was on her phone. She feels horrible enough the way it is She was not on her phone!!!! It was an accident. Both parties feel bad enough.Speed was not a factor or bad decisions the fog was. I wish people would have a heart and place themselves in both the dads and the other drivers shoes. Let it be it was an accident. Don’t place blame just give support

      • sally

        Tammy Totally agreed…you couldn’t have said it better!!

      • Kip

        Tammy, as a father of 6 children, this article saddens me. Every accident is preventable. Those boys should still be here. You blame the fog, which should have caused all drivers to slow down. It is the law in Minnesota, the Minnesota basic speed law states that when travel conditions are poor, you must slow down, regardless of the posted speed limit. Obviously 55MPH was way too fast. Unfortunately 2 lives were lost, and several others affected. She will have to live with that forever. The only positive here is that perhaps people will pay more attention to the road, and road conditions, and accidents like this one will be avoided.

  • todd

    seat belts people

  • heather

    This is a horrible tradgedy! My thoughts and prayers go out to this family.

    People need to be more careful when driving…what does it take!!!!!

  • Brad Fluck

    I am not sure about it but think if only dad had put seat belts on the kids they would be here. When are adults going to learn, how many more tragic deaths need to happen. May God be with this family and may all who here thai learn!

  • Brian

    My thoughts to the families of these two little boys. They are the innocent ones in this terrible accident. I really hate to comment on this but my first thought was why these two boys were not in secured car seats or at least seat belts for their saftey and as required by law? Their chances of survival would have been increased alot..parents really need to consider this after what happened here. Again, my sympathies to the familiy .

    • Karen Hauserman

      They were right at thier drive way, perhaps they were so excited to be home they were removing the belts as lots of little kids do. My prayers and sympathy go out to the family.

  • Marnie Ahlbrecht

    I know seat belts are the law, but in this case I dont think seat belts would have saved them, God Bless the family during this tragic time

  • Teri Spence

    I had heard that the boys unbuckled their seatbelts as they approached because they knew they were home. What I wonder even more is where were the eyes of the person that hit them? If her eyes were on the road, you would think that she had time to slow down at least some, even if there was some fog. Can’t help but to wonder if texting was involved.

  • Nancy

    God Bless this family…

  • JoDee

    I think everyone needs to lay off the seatbelt thing. Yes it is the law and it is especially important for children to wear seat belts, but who knows if that even would have saved them? And dont you think the dad feels bad enough and its a little to late for a seat belt lecture! How about the woman who was going 55 and it was foggy? Obviously too fast when you cant even see a car in front of you! My heart just breaks for this family!

  • Trish

    Spotty fog! Don’t you think she feels bad enough!! I’m sure everyone has driven on roads when all of a sudden there is a fog cloud! That woman has feelings too and I don’t think the blame should be placed anywhere right now! Two innocent lives are gone, everyone involved needs prayers right now! Not blame!

  • Krystal

    As I read all of the comments above, I see so many mixed feelings, thoughts and blaming going on. I cannot even begin to imagine the indescribable pain and sorrow this mother and father must be feeling right now. Placing blame on the father, the other driver, the fog,…that is not going to change the outcome of this tragedy. The last thing this father has to hear about is how he should have made sure his boys were buckled. They were at the end of their driveway, they were almost home, probably excited…haven’t we all made bad judgements at some point in our lives? The obvious fact is yes, they should have had their seatbelts on, but, they didn’t…we don;t know the reason for that, but, why be mad at the father who is already grieving enough? If the other driver was in fact texting, she will have her punishment and have to live the rest of her life knowing that she was responsible for the death of two innocent boys. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family….may God be with you and comfort you.

  • Fairfax Resident

    Some of you should be ashamed of yourselves!!!! Why kick people who are already down??? Their entire lives just changed!!! and I’m sure they are hurting worse then any of us could ever imagine!!! What is done is done. Both parties involved need support as everyone has to live with what happened. Mandy and Nate…I hope you never read these but if you do may God bless you and hold you when your legs can’t carry you anymore!!!

  • Rachel Anderson

    Out of respect for the family everyone should keep their judgemental comments to themselves. It does not help anyone. This family is experiencing more grief than most of us ever will. They are a wonderful family, and the boys had wonderful parents. We should be remembering what special boys Trevor and Dillan were. So for those who feel they need to comment and judge instead send prayers for strength for the Sommers, and hug your own children a little longer tonight because ALL of our lives can change in an instant.

  • Darcy

    I am just so sorry that this accident happened………….

  • Jackie M

    It’s foggy. Slow down!!! Sad for ALL parties involved. :(

  • Renae H.

    It is a very sad day for everyone involved- and casting blame or comments will not bring these to wonderful children back- I can only save with all this family is going through they relize that with this tragedy they are still help another person by donating their sons organs. God Bless you all

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