SNF employee who died when car plowed into facility 'saved people'

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An activities assistant at a South Dakota nursing home died Monday when a car crashed into the building, but not before reportedly pushing others out of harm's way, according to local accounts.

Jenna Benzel, 31, had been working at Alcester Care and Rehab Center in Alcester, SD, for just a few days. She was assisting with an outdoor aerobics class when a car headed toward her group. The accident was caused by an 81-year-old driver who apparently hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes, authorities said.

One other person, whose name and affiliation with the facility has not been released, died. Six people, who officials reported to be a mix of staff members and residents, were injured and taken to the hospital after the crash.

At a vigil on Tuesday, Benzel's 11-year-old son said a witness to the crash told him his mother spent her final moments helping others, according to the Argus Leader.

“She pushed people out of the way,” Bram Benzel told the crowd. “She saved people's lives."

In addition to Bram, Benzel leaves behind a husband and two other children.