Family, classmates remember Mounds View girls killed in crash

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Mounds View, Minnesota, community members and school officials held a memorial on Monday for the students who died in a crash Thursday morning.

While the visitation for Stephanie Carlson is scheduled for Monday night, students were invited to visit a memorial near the site of the accident after school to remember both Carlson and Bridget Giere. 

“She was our Jiminy Cricket,” said Catherine Carlson, Stephanie’s mother. “She was always prodding us to do the right thing, to keep going to church, keep going to confession.”

On Monday, their hearts remained broken, their family shattered.

“She was both loud and quiet,” Carlson said. “She was funny with a good little sense of humor. And her laugh, her giggle was infectious…just a joy-filled person.”

Saint Agnes High School in St. Paul, Carlson's former school, is also dedicating tonight’s girls' basketball game to Carlson. She attended the school for two years and played on the team before transferring to Mounds View this fall, saying she missed her friends Sammy Redden and Bridget Giere too much.

Redden was injured in the crash. She remains hospitalized and is in serious condition. 

“No parent should lose a child or have to bury a child,” said Martin Giere, Bridget’s father. “She was just blossoming, becoming such a beautiful person. She loved school, engaged in everything. She loved life.”

Both families are now trying to make sense of their loss in the midst of what has turned into a nearly unbearable holiday season.

“She’s been ordering presents for people,” Carlson said. “They’ve been arriving. I think more will be arriving, and I’m going to wrap them up and give them to people they are intended for.”

Steven and Catherine Carlson said they will never forget their final moments with their baby girl.

“She looked especially pretty,” Carlson said. “I told her she looked pretty, I said, ‘I love you,’ she said, ‘love you more.’ We both said, ‘love you most,’ and I said, ‘have a good day, honey.’ Then, walking out of room, how could I ever never know.”

Community members are invited to visit the GoFundMe page for the teens.