Bad end to bright night

Inside Dakota Ag

Bad end to a bright night

Published on: November 5, 2009

Is anybody else wondering what the three Dickinson State University softball players who died this week thought they were doing driving around in a cattle pasture?

News reports said they had told friends they had gone out star grazing. I’ve heard star gazing is a popular outing, especially with tourists from urban areas. These girls were from
California and ManitobaI enjoy walking out to the edge of the shelterbelt out back of the barn and staring up at the Milk Way myself. But their version of star gazing apparently involved driving their 4 x 4 Jeep Cherokee through somebody’s private pasture in the middle of the night.


They ended up driving into a stock pond and drowning in 10-12 feet of water. Why they couldn’t get out of the Jeep, I don’t know.


The sheriff’s spokesman hasn’t said they were trespassing, but confirmed they were on private property. One TV report said they were two miles from a main road.


This was a terrible accident and I feel sorry for the families.


Perhaps this accident could have been avoided if someone had explained to the girls that wide open spaces aren’t really empty, that they belong to someone and that they can be full of danger for those who are unfamiliar with the country.


Clearly, DSU and other university officials need to include some rural orientation for their out-of-state students.