Minnesota Twins reach out to kids who were hurt in Alligator Alley crash

Group was returning from Twins spring training game when their van was hit


BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Minnesota Twins reached out to a group of children who were hurt last week in a crash along Alligator Alley. 

The young people from Minnesota were part of group that was traveling to Fort Lauderdale on March 6 after attending a Twins spring training game in Fort Myers. Florida Highway Patrol troopers said Nisbany Garcias was driving drunk on Interstate 75 when his pickup truck rear-ended the group's van, causing it to flip over.

One of the 15 people inside the van -- Lauren Vanreese, 21, of Andover, Minnesota -- was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Several of the children were wearing Twins jersey at the time of crash. The jerseys had to be cut off as paramedics and doctors treated them for their injuries.

Hearing about how the kids lost their beloved jerseys, a family member reached out to the Twins and got an immediate response.

The team, along with the kids' favorite players -- Byron Buxton, Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer and Miguel Sano -- sent the group signed jerseys, baseball bats and bats on Sunday. The team also held a moment of silence for Vanreese at a recent game.

Lauren Vanreese, 21, of Andover, Minnesota, was killed in the crash.
Lauren Vanreese, 21, of Andover, Minnesota, was killed in the crash.

The Twins wanted the kids to know that the entire team was behind them and praying for them.

Most of the group have been released from the hospital, but two women remain in serious condition.

"If you could have seen the glimmer in their eyes, that moment, it was just magic," the family member said. "I can't thank the Twins organization enough ... It really shows what baseball is all about -- families."