ST. FRANCIS, Minn. (FOX 9) - The St. Francis community paid special tribute Tuesday to those who came to help two girls hit by a car near the middle school.
Annie Lamotte and Kaia Bollman were badly hurt, but they survived thanks in part to the actions of three witnesses.
"During a November evening in 2018, they were faced with a situation that was right in front of them, and their everyday ordinary routines were instantly interrupted," said Chief of Police Todd Schweiger.
The chief gave Adam Klinkner, Alycia Simons and Samantha Stewart the department's Citizen Award.
"It made me feel good and reminded me that everything we did was for a really good reason, and Kaia is here and she is doing so well," Stewart said.
Samantha Stewart said she was on her way home from work as a medical assistant when she came across Annie and Kaia who had been hit by a car while crossing Highway 47 in a designated crosswalk with flashing lights.
Kaia wasn't breathing, so Stewart gave her CPR until she started breathing again, while Klinkner coached her and Simons, an off duty EMT, put neck collars on the girls and gave them oxygen.
"I cry almost every time I see Kaia just because it’s such a difference between that night and where she is now…and Annie, she's so bubbly," Stewart said.
For the girls and their families, the chance to thank the people who helped them in their time of need means more than words can properly express.
"It was nice to meet them in person and let them know that I'm alright," Annie said.
"They saved me, and I do love them," Kaia said.
And while some call them heroes, others have something much more heavenly in mind.
"They are angels, absolutely. It’s hard to put into words. It sure does make you think about stuff, for sure," said Annie's father, Chris Lamotte.