Both teens, who are lifelong friends, remain in the hospital, but are recovering, said Bridget Nelson of Aberdeen.
She is the mother of 19-year-old Cully Nelson, who was flown to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls early Wednesday morning. He does not need surgery and is expected to return to Aberdeen today, his mother said. She said her son has a broken vertebra in his back, a fracture near the top of his neck and bleeding on his brain. He needs to wear back and neck braces, she said.
Andrew Randall, 17, was moved out of intensive care on Thursday at Avera St. Luke's Hospital in Aberdeen, said Diane Randall, his mother. She said her son's injuries include broken ribs, a hairline fracture in his spine and a bruised lung.
Andrew Randall was the driver of a vehicle that crashed into the southwest corner of Simmons Elementary School about 9:30 Tuesday night, according to Aberdeen police. He was northbound on 16th Avenue Southwest, according to a police report.
The impact caused an estimated $50,000 damage to the Simmons Elementary library, which might remain closed through the end of the school year. Books and shelves have been moved into another room in the school.
Capt. Neil Bittner of the Aberdeen Police Department said the teens left the scene of the accident, though their family members disagree. Both mothers said their sons were too injured to flee and were helped out of the vehicle, a Ford Explorer, by others.
Bridget Nelson said her son was cited for possession and consumption of alcohol by a minor. She said the boys were drinking at a party in Warner before the accident.
"We will address that as a family. (Cully) understands that God came down and tapped him on the shoulder," she said. "We want to send a message to his friends that this is what happens" when you drink and drive.
"They will take their punishment," she said of the teens.
Charges as a result of the crash are still pending, Bittner said. He said there was an event that precipitated the crash, but declined to discuss details.
Diane Randall said she has heard conflicting stories, but that her understanding is that before the accident, her son and others were visiting after having pulled off Melgaard Road on the south side of Aberdeen. When they got ready to leave, she said, her son's Explorer backed into another vehicle and caused minor damage. When her son drove away, the other vehicle gave chase, she said.
She said the street near the school was very slippery.
The mothers said their sons don't remember details about the accident.
Bridget Nelson said her son had spinal problems before the accident and likely faces months of physical rehabilitation. But, she said, he doesn't need to wear a neck halo or be in a body brace.
"He's very fortunate he'll be able to walk," she said.