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Crash kills girl, 2 teens hurt

SPRING VALLEY --- Amy Rademaker's parents were planning a celebration Monday in honor of her 16th birthday.

Instead, they spent the day on a different celebration --- a celebration of her life -- as she was killed Tuesday evening in a one-car accident near CTH N and Skyline Drive, just east of Hwy. 65, south of Roberts.

Other families are suffering, too.

While Rademaker's family is going through undeniable grief, two other families were affected by the crash.

Rademaker was riding in the front seat of a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt driven by 17-year-old Megan Ungar-Kerns of Spring Valley. Natasha Weigel, 18, of Baldwin was also a passenger in the vehicle. The accident occurred around 7:55 p.m.

Kerns was traveling eastbound on CTH N, entered the south ditch and struck a group of trees, according to the accident report provided by the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department. She was transported by ground ambulance directly to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Rademaker was initially transported by ground ambulance to Hudson Medical Center and then airlifted to Regions, where she was pronounced dead. Weigel was airlifted to Regions from the scene.

As of Monday afternoon, Regions representatives listed Kerns in fair condition after being critical on Thursday, while Weigel is still critical.

The report also stated Kerns appeared normal and no alcohol or drugs were present. She wasn't issued any citations.

None of the three were wearing seat belts and the car's air bags didn't deploy, St. Croix County Sheriff Dennis Hillstead said Wednesday.

Rademaker was a sophomore at Baldwin-Woodville Schools.

"She was an outstanding person," said her mother Margie Beskau of Woodville, fighting back tears in a phone interview Monday. "Everyone adored Amy. She had a wonderful spirit, loved life and loved everyone."

It's understandable then that B-W school officials were flabbergasted the following day.

"It's unexpected and shocking," said Rusty Helland, superintendent for Baldwin-Woodville. "The student body was upset, but the staff and counselors did a great job."

Helland also praised area pastors in the B-W School District for their guidance, especially Pastor John Hanson at Peace Lutheran Church.

As a tribute, the accident site has become a memorial to her. Her favorite color was orange and that is evident by the orange balloons, orange flowers and the crosses that are spray painted orange in honor of her.

"We miss you and never will forget you"..."Your (sic) the best friend anyone could have. Thank you for everything. You'll be missed greatly," were some of the messages left.

According to her obituary, Rademaker worked part-time at Movies and More in Baldwin, "loved to sister spar with her siblings" and meet friends at the Woodville Skate Park while listening to her favorite band, "Korn."

"She had a bright smile and beautiful brown eyes," Beskau said. "I love my daughter with all my heart and I'm going to miss her forever."

Rademaker is survived by Beskau, father Randy Rademaker of Baldwin, three sisters, Sarah Gutt, Katy Hoyt, Kellie Rademaker, one brother, Dan Rademaker, and one grandmother, Evie Rademaker of Baldwin.

Visitation for Rademaker was at the Baldwin-Woodville High School Monday and the funeral was held yesterday at Zion Lutheran Church in Woodville.

"For the love of Amy, buckle up," Beskau said. "It's too important not to."

Beskau also said she used to never buckle up, but that's going to change.

"I'm going to try and get the message out, so my daughter didn't die in vain," she explained. "If one person's life is saved by putting on their seat belt, Amy didn't die in vain."

"I want everyone to pray for Megan and Tasha and their families," Beskau said. "They're going through a rough time."

Kerns and Weigel also have a connection to B-W. Kerns was enrolled at the district, but wasn't taking any classes currently. (She also recently got married and had moved to Spring Valley.) Weigel had taken classes at B-W before moving to Albert Lea, Minn., but came back to the area recently.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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