The accident happened around 3 p.m. Friday on Highway 3 near Northfield, the Minnesota State Patrol said in an incident report.
All three people killed were students at Carleton College, based in Northfield. The State Patrol identified the deceased as James P. Adams, 20, of St. Paul, Minn.; Paxton M. Harvieux, 21, of Stillwater, Minn.; and Michael D. Goodgame, 20, of Westport, Conn.
Two others in the SUV - driver William Sparks, 20, of Evanston, Ill., and passenger Conor Eckert, 19, of Seattle - were listed in serious condition, the State Patrol said. The college said in a news release they were in stable condition. The driver of the semi was not injured.
Eric Sieger, media relations director for Carleton College, told The Minneapolis Star-Tribune the students played on the school's Ultimate Frisbee team, which finished third in the country last year.
He said officials couldn't recall another time three students at the 2,000-student school died in a single day. A prayer vigil was planned for Saturday on the campus.
Carleton President Steven G. Poskanzer released a statement Friday offering "heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the families and friends" of the three students who were killed.
"The collective Carleton soul aches for the loss of these three young men. Right now, we need to focus all our love and compassion on supporting the families and friends of all these young men, along with everyone in our community who cares for them," he said.
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