Page 2 of 2 Previous
Many students realized after the accident “that it could have been anybody,” Holien said. “It’s just really brought an awareness of how fragile life is.”
Bussler said that students have become more concerned about driving conditions, with more students carpooling and being conscious of safety. “It’s just something that you’re always thinking of now,” he said.
There were between 400 and 500 car accidents across the metro area on the day Alyssa died, Matt Ettl said.
He said that Alyssa took her driver’s test last year “in a snowstorm,” passing on her first try. She loved winter, he said.
He doesn’t believe the road itself was a factor in her death. The stretch of Dodd Boulevard where the crash occurred is two lanes, and the accident happened just south of W. 190th Street. The city and county are planning to expand the section from W. 185th Street (or County Road 60) to W. 194th Street to four lanes in 2018.
City Manager Steve Mielke said that he’s not qualified to say whether the road is dangerous or contributed to Alyssa’s accident. However, “I do suspect as a result of this the council will be asked whether to move this [expansion project] forward in the coming year,” Mielke said.
Matt Ettl said he and his wife, Jennifer, and their daughter, Korrine, a University of Minnesota student, have been overwhelmed by the amount of support they have received.
About 200 students boarded buses to attend a memorial service on Dodd Boulevard the Saturday after she died, despite frigid temperatures. More than 2,000 people attended Alyssa’s wake, and 1,700 were at the funeral, where Matt Ettl delivered a eulogy.
Alyssa’s death “has touched the community in myriad ways,” said Tom Mork, president and CEO of Lakeview Bank, where she worked. “We’ve had numerous customers brought to tears by her death. You just don’t see that very often.”
Matt Ettl said that he’s happy that the night before his daughter died, they were able to ring bells for the Salvation Army together. When they were done, Alyssa — always busy, always upbeat — rushed off to cheer on the boys playing basketball at the high school, he said.
“She couldn’t wait to get to the next event,” he said. “She was probably more prepared to go to heaven than anybody.”
Erin Adler • 952-746-3283