MOUNDS VIEW, Minn. – It has been a sobering summer for one Minnesota school district.
Three recent crashes have hit Mounds View students hard. One happened in June, another in July, and then another tragedy occurred just this week.
The night of June 30 is one Mounds View High School student Berit Hudson will never forget.
“Four of us piled into the back of a car, and because of that we didn’t wear our seat belts because there weren’t enough spots. The driver was driving was super fast, so fast that we ended up missing a turn and going into a tree going 80 mph,” Hudson said.
All six teens were seriously injured but survived. But just four weeks later, a classmate was killed in a construction zone by Lake Elmo.
“Unfortunately he wasn’t wearing his seat belt, and became of that he passed away,” Hudson said. “And it’s been super, super hard for our community.”
And on Monday, tragedy struck again. A crash sent another Mounds View High School student to the hospital..
That’s why for their Community Initiative Night, Mounds View partnered with rival Irondale to bring attention to safe driving. To help get the message across, players from both teams wore special jerseys with a message on the back that read, “Drive Safe Someone Loves You.”
“Just deciding to abide by the speed limit, keep your phone down or put your seat belt on should not be difficult decisions, but they are,” said Mounds View Girls Soccer Head Coach Katelynn Fast. “They’re things that we have to remind these kids to think about when they’re getting in the car.”
Hudson says the message isn’t just for people behind the wheel. Looking back, she says even as a passenger she could have made a difference.
“Just speaking up. You know, it can be scary sometimes, but you know, one voice telling someone to slow down or put their phone down when they’re in the car can end up saving a life,” Hudson said.
Some of the students say they’ve kicked around the idea of starting a “Students Against Drunk Driving” group at the high school to keep the safe driving message going all year round.