Two Mounds View High School students were killed and one was hospitalized after their car was struck Thursday morning on their way to school.
The three juniors, all girls, normally drove to school together, Principal Jeff Ridlehoover said at an afternoon media briefing. A friend of the girls had received a text in the morning saying that they were getting ready and on their way to school, he added.
“All three were highly engaged and wonderful young people,” said Ridlehoover, who was visibly shaken. “Two of them are already missed. We have great concern for the one student who is in the hospital.”
The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a crash with injuries at 7:02 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of Hwy. 96 and Old Hwy. 10 in Arden Hills.
The vehicle carrying the students was traveling west on Hwy. 96 and about to turn left on Old Hwy. 10 when the collision occurred. The driver of the other vehicle was traveling east on Hwy. 96.
Two of the students died at the scene, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The driver of the other vehicle was released at the scene.
The names of the three students have not been released. But family and friends confirmed late Thursday that Bridget Giere was one of the two who died. They described Giere as a shining light, always willing to help out a friend having a bad day.
The mood at the high school was somber Thursday, where the district’s crisis team gathered, and some parents came to pick up their children early.
Ridlehoover said the school will get through this difficult time together. An evening vigil was held in the school commons.
Students grieving for their classmates posted messages on social media, offering support to each another to stay strong and united. Students plan to wear blue Friday to honor their dead classmates.
Ridlehoover said the school has a close-knit student body.
“Education will be second tomorrow,” he said. “It’s more about taking care of each other.”
District officials announced that all athletic events at the school were canceled Thursday, as well as other meetings. Mounds View High School has a population of more than 1,700 students.