One East Ridge High School student was killed and four were injured when the car they were in struck a tree and split in two Saturday evening on Settlers Ridge Parkway in Woodbury.
People who live at the parkway near Sundance Way called 911 shortly after 11 p.m. to report the crash. Others who heard the crash also called police.
On Sunday afternoon, dozens of people from the East Ridge and Woodbury communities were at the scene of the crash with bouquets of flowers, cards and candles.
They hugged one another, cried and stood in silence as they stared at the growing memorial that included a hockey jersey, a stuffed animal and a handmade "U will be missed" sign. The tree was wrapped in white ribbon and flowers and was visibly damaged from the crash. A mangled no parking sign rested nearby in the grass.
Logan Ellis, a senior, said he can't fully grasp that his friend is gone. The school is still in spring break and the news was shocking, Ellis said.
"I just couldn't believe it. Last night there was rumors of a crash and I didn't think much of it, but when I woke up this morning and I saw that it was a few of my friends … it just hit me like a rock."
First responders arrived at 11:11 p.m. and began working on the victims, who had been riding inside the 2015 Honda Accord. One person was thrown from the car and died at the scene. The other four had to be extricated.
According to emergency dispatch audio, three of the four occupants are 17 years old and one is 16. The age of the driver was not released.
Woodbury Police Cmdr. John Altman said in a statement that the community is grieving.
"There's a lot of emotion for everyone to process," Altman said, "and our hearts are heavy for all those involved and affected by this crash."
The four survivors were taken to Regions Hospital and M Health Fairview Woodwinds Hospital. The hospitals did not release their conditions Sunday afternoon, but several friends of those involved in the crash said they were all in stable condition, though one was going to need surgery.
The crash remains under investigation and authorities did not release identities on Sunday.
The State Patrol is reconstructing the crash at the intersection, which was busier than usual on Sunday with mourners visiting the memorial. Several neighbors commented about the problem of increased speeds on Settlers Ridge, which has a limit of 40 mph along that stretch through a residential neighborhood.
Asked whether high speeds were involved in the crash, Altman said in an e-mail that he's waiting for the State Patrol's report, "but it is definitely an area of interest when the severity of damage is taken into account."
Kim Hyatt • 612-673-4751