Kylie Grayden and Kelly Phillips, above, were friends and Minnetonka High School schoolmates. They died after Grayden's car rolled over Friday night.
A nearly full moon hung high in the nighttime sky Sunday as hundreds of students sat at the center of Minnetonka High School's football stadium to remember two fellow students who were killed in a car crash during the weekend.
Adults held hands and made a human circle around the kids in what Principal David Adney described as a gesture borrowed from American Indian custom. They had come to mourn the deaths of seniors Kylie Grayden and Kelly Phillips -- friends and schoolmates who died in a rollover Friday night on a Carver County road near Belle Plaine.
Injured and with an uncertain prognosis is Grayden's cousin Mitch Grengs, a Woodbury High School senior.
Outside Minnetonka High, a large boulder became an informal memorial to the girls. Photos, messages and flowers draped the rock.
Adney assured everyone connected to the school of 2,400 students, on the eve of homecoming this week, that despite their grief there will be a time again for smiles, laughter and dance. "This is going to be a tough week," said Mary Hedstrom, Phillips' English teacher for the past two years.
But she said she was heartened by the large turnout at the memorial Sunday, adding she thinks it will help the school community begin to heal.
Meanwhile, Pat Grengs, Mitch Grengs' father, is again keeping vigil at an intensive care unit for one of his children. Years ago, his daughter survived a brain tumor. Sunday, he held out guarded optimism for the recovery of his son, the 17-year-old who has been hospitalized since Friday night with spinal injuries.
While he focuses on the small movements his son has made and the surgery scheduled for today, Grengs also is thinking about the two teenagers who died in the crash.
"Two 17-year-olds perished, and I was fortunate enough to have a son who survived," he said.
"Our heartfelt and sincere thoughts and prayers are with the families of both Kylie and Kelly," said Grengs on behalf of himself and his family.
At the time of the crash, the teens were heading to San Francisco Township, where Mitch Grengs' grandparents have a farm, said Pat Grengs. Plans were for a bonfire and spending time with other friends.
Heading south on County Road 40 near 182nd Street, with Grayden behind the wheel, the car left the road and rolled over about 8:10 p.m., authorities said. Grayden died at the scene.
Phillips, in the back seat, was thrown from the car and pronounced dead Saturday at Hennepin County Medical Center.
Phillips, an honors student who played on Minnetonka's hockey, golf and tennis teams, was also an outstanding downhill skier, said family friend Marie Uhrich.
The Phillips family's spring break ritual was taking a ski trip to Colorado. The lure of the slopes was one reason that the Universities of Colorado and Denver were on Phillips' short list of college choices, her plan to study business, Uhrich said.
A dedicated volunteer at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Phillips last week spoke at her church's stewardship dinners.
In the remarks she prepared, in which she discussed how important her church and service have been to her, Phillips wrote: "Being involved at church has and continues to be as natural to me as being Scandinavian; it's part of who I am."
Grayden, a basketball lover who had previously lived in Solon Springs, Wis., began attending Minnetonka High at the end of her sophomore year.