Lakeville remembers student killed in crash

8:37 AM, Dec 5, 2013   |    comments
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LAKEVILLE, Minn. -- Family and friends are mourning the death of 16-year-old Alyssa Ettl who died in a car crash Wednesday morning.

Dozens of students and parents remembered the North Lakeville High School standout Wednesday night at a number of churches that took time during services to remember and pray for Ettl.

Lakeville Police believe Ettl lost control of her vehicle on Dodd Boulevard near 190th street around 9:45 a.m. She slid sideways and was broadsided by an on-coming vehicle. The driver of the other vehicle and her young son escaped with minor injuries.

"It's been really tough all day," said Sammie Piekarski, Ettl's best friend. "When we got together we could be ourselves around each other. We just knew each other so well."

Piekarski may have been one of the last people to see Ettl alive. She worked out with her at Lifetime Fitness before school started Wednesday morning shortly before the accident happened.

School officials told students Wednesday morning and allowed them to go home with their parents.

"It's hard," said Lakeville North Principal Marne Berkvam as her voice started to break.

Berkvam described Ettl as a child any parent would dream of. She was an honors student who volunteered at school helping students with special needs and taught Sunday school at her church.

Ettl is also described as an excellent athlete who was a vital member of the soccer team. The team made it to the state championship game this year. And on Tuesday, she found out she was named as one of next year's captains.

"It was devastating. She was such a wonderful student who had so many friends," said Berkvam.

So many friends that when school officials told students Wednesday they could go to the auditorium and talk through their feelings, many took them up on the offer.

"We have an auditorium that seats 600 and filled up literally within minutes," she said.

"It was unbelievable. Everyone was there to support her. Everyone was there to celebrate who she was as a person. It was awesome," added Piekarski. "It was just so lovely to see all of Lakeville come together as one."

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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