(FOX 9) - The agony and heartbreak of a mother who had gone out looking for her teenage son after he didn’t return home on time is still fresh after she came upon the crash scene less than a mile from their rural Scott County home last week.
FOX 9 previously reported on the tragic death of 15-year old Braxton Sorenson, who was struck and killed while riding his bicycle.
That driver, Joseph Friedges of Lakeville, has since been charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide.
But it’s parents Ben and Alexia Sorenson that were so proud of the young man they were raising.
"Everybody always thought, oh, he's like 18, 19 because he was growing a goatee like his dad, and I was like, no, he just turned 15, but he carried himself very maturely," Braxton’s mother Alexia Sorenson told Fox 9.
Beyond his maturity and independence, the Sorenson’s explained that Braxton was a cherished big brother helping raise three younger siblings.
He was also a member of the local Civil Air Patrol, dreaming of one day flying rescue missions out of war zones for the United States Air Force.
"When he saw the soldiers helping those in Afghanistan get out, that's the type of pilot he wanted to be," Alexia said. "Helping hundreds of people and rescuing them – that's what he wanted."
However, all those dreams were lost over the July 4 weekend.
According to court documents, Friedges told investigators a sneeze while in cruise control precipitated the deadly collision with Braxton. Authorities believe Friedges was grossly negligent and likely under the influence of alcohol.
"What's really important is that people don't drink and drive. One drink is too much," said Ben.
For Alexia, she will never forget going out looking for her son last Friday evening when he didn’t return home at the expected time – searching dirt roads and rural hills around their home that
Braxton loved is when she came upon the crash.
"I continuously close my eyes and give him my heart, give him a kiss and, have him walk to Christ," she said. "That's where I’m at right now, and I find peace in that."