Mounds View school officials have named the high school students involved in a Thursday crash that killed two and injured one.
In a letter to families, Principal Jeffery P. Ridlehoover said Bridget Giere and Stephanie Carlson died in the crash. Samantha Redden remains hospitalized in stable condition.
The crash occurred as the three juniors were on their way to Mounds View High School Thursday morning. Their car was making a left turn on Hwy. 96 and Old Hwy. 10 when it was struck by an eastbound driver. The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office received a call at 7:02 a.m. The driver of the other vehicle was released at the crash site.
Giere and Carlson were pronounced dead at the scene. Two of the three students were wearing seat belts, said Sgt. John Eastham.
“Bridget Giere will be remembered as a very positive student and a good friend to many,” Ridlehoover said in a statement. “Stephanie Carlson will be remembered as a funny, smart and loving girl. Friends say she spread happiness effortlessly with an unforgettable laugh and a radiant heart.”
The tight-knit school of about 1,700 students was shaken by the crash. On social media, students offered words of support for one another. Ridlehoover was visibly shook up at a media briefing Thursday afternoon. Students gathered at the school Thursday night for a vigil. On Friday students hung blue cranes from the school ceilings.
The three students often rode to school together. Giere was a third-year Mounds View Mustang tennis player and had just started a job at Target. She also helped her friends and family at the State Fair’s Patio Grill. In her spare time, she posed for photo shoots downtown with her friends and went shopping with her sister.
“Her humor, kindness and smile will not be forgotten,” Ridlehoover said.
It was Carlson’s first year at Mounds View. She had previously attended St. Agnes High School in St. Paul. Carlson, like Giere, was athletic. She ran with the track team at St. Agnes and was looking forward to joining the Mounds View team this spring. She worked part time at the Golden LivingCenter-Lake Ridge, a nursing facility in Roseville.
School district Superintendent Chris Lennox spent Thursday at the hospital with Redden. Mounds View High School has received an outpouring of support from the local community and neighboring schools. Students at Irondale High School in New Brighton wore Mustang green in a show of solidarity with Mounds View and created a sign for the school.
“Our thoughts are with our Mustang family,” the sign reads. “We don’t heal in isolation, but in community.” Lennox thanked people for the show of support in a letter to families sent out by the district.
Mounds View High School students wore blue to honor their friends.
On Monday afternoon, buses will take students from Mounds View High School to visit the memorial site at the intersection where the crash occurred. Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office deputies will escort the students to the site and block off the intersection.
Bouquets of flowers were piling up near the crash site on Friday.