Remembering Mother Killed In I-494 Crash

By Liz Collin, WCCO-TV

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — Friends and family are remembering a Twin Cities mother who lost her life in an icy crash on Saturday.

Amanda Jo Lynch lost control of her SUV on northbound I-494 near Bass Lake Road. She died after being ejected and hit from a southbound vehicle.

Lynch wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Her two-year-old daughter, Bailey, was strapped in a safety seat and survived.

Lynch worked behind the bar at Cooper’s in Mendota Heights for six years. She made many memories and many friends. Randall Cooper hired Amanda.

“She made sure that when people came in would call them by their first name, knew what they liked, always had a spot for them,” Cooper said.

Cooper said Lynch was on her way to a birthday party up north just after 7 a.m. when the accident happened.

“Amanda cared most about was her family and especially her daughter,” said Cooper.

The young mother had already been through hard times. Bailey’s father and Amanda’s fiancé, Jake, has been battling colon cancer.

Jake had been winning his cancer fight. Now, he’s left to deal with losing his biggest supporter in that battle.

“It was about everybody else, not about Amanda. She cared for everyone,” Cooper said.

There is a fund for Amanda Lynch’s daughter set up Gateway Bank in Mendota Heights.

WCCO-TV’s Liz Collin Reports

More from Liz Collin
  • Steve R

    The sad part of the entire story is that she didn’t fasten her own seatbelt after securing her child. Everyone remember one this.

    If you don’t value your own life enough to fasten your seatbelt, just think about the one’s you’re leaving behind….


    • JamieinMN

      Like the trooper said, had she just fastened her own safety belt, we most likely wouldn’t even be speaking about this. Very tragic :-( My heart breaks for her entire family.

      • K

        Steve and Jamie–you both make me SICK! how dare you criticize Amanda for not wearing her seatbelt and assume she didnt value her life or wasnt in a state of mind to drive, how DARE you! Amanda, a friend of mine and soo much more to so many other people loved life and her family and her friends…It was a tragic accident that left countless broken hearts. SHAME on you both, i would never wish this pain on anyone, how could you forget that she is human. SICK. RIP AMANDA WE LOVE YOU

      • JamieinMN

        Excuse me, did I say she didn’t value her life???? You better check yourself bia.

  • JackieM

    So sad. Buckle up… it saves lives and doesn’t disrupt families.

  • tonya

    Yes I agree, very sad. But we do not know for sure that wearing a seatbelt would have saved her life. Everyone just assumes.

    • Paul H. Krumrei

      It’s a given, you have a better chance of not being ejected. Wear your belt people! How sad this little girl will not have her mom just because she was too lazy to put her own belt on!

      • Kristin

        Dont say lazy! You have no idea what her mind set was that day! How cold hearted!

      • JamieinMN

        Lazy, dazed, etc. whatever you want to call it. Regardless, the FIRST thing I do everytime I get into my car is put on my seatbelt. It doesn’t matter what she was thinking. She should’ve fastened her safety belt. If she was “not in her right mind” she shouldn’t have been driving in the first place.

        • that kid

          I’m a relative of this woman and I understand what you’re saying about wearing your seat belt… Its sad that you have no respect for me or my family. Amanda usually wore her seat belt and the fact that you can say a comment like this is extremely hard for me to read. It rips me up inside. My cousin who I was very close to died and you have no respect to say this in a better way is mind blowing. Amanda was an amazing woman she made me who I am today. If you would have known her you wouldn’t have typed that. I hope you meet someone who changes your life for the best and I hope they wear their seat belt.

  • Courtney

    This is so sad. It’s easy to say you ALWAYS do something…no one knows what made her not have that seatbelt on. She could have been distracted, took it off for a second to reach something…no matter the reason it doesn’t lessen the tragedy for this family. God bless them all.

  • Linda C

    Its sad that this happened. Its the first thing you do when you get into a car, Your Buckle Up. It’s the law. its something you DON’T forget. She would of never been thrown out of the car and would of been alive today. Her daughter was in her car seat she survived because she was buckled up. Its a tragedy- God bless her family.

  • Mrs. Deb Weimelt

    Amamda was a former student of mine. As a” high schooler” she was a passionate and fun-loving young lady and I’m sure she still was. Whenever there were children around, there was Amanda, making them laugh with delight. I have to believe she was a wonderful mother. Rather than dwell on what should have been, let’s focus on the legacy she left behind for all of us that were lucky enough to spend time with her. God bless you, sweetie. xo
    Mrs. W. DPALC

    • Kelly

      I agree that instead of focusing on making negative assumptions about such a tragic situation it’s best to remember her in a positive light. It’s obvious that the negative comments about the situation were made by people who did not know her and that’s why it’s easy for them to criticize the accident and the “what-ifs”. God bless Amanda and her family <3

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  • Missy Reese- McGaffey

    I have known Amanda since we were 16. Amanda wore her heart on her sleeve. She would do anything for anybody. She loved Jake and Baylee with all of her heart. To say that she was lazy for not putting on her seatbelt is pretty disrespectful. I do not know why she did not put it on. I know through this tragedy I have learned to value life so much more. I kiss my kids and husband a million times more. Everyday is a gift that is why they call it the present. I hope others can see that. Love you Amanda

  • Leah

    I think that all of you to say that she was lazy or this or that is very disrespectful and they cannot prove that the sea tbelt would have saved her life! Amanda I met you only a couple times and you were the most kind hearted person there was to meet! RIP you are missed and loved and your spirit will live through your daughter!

  • Kendra Renae Graham

    sad that this girl is now dead and the only thing you people can do is fight. would this make you happy if this was your family? seeing people dis this young girl for her mistake? it could have been your mom, dad, brother, sister, kid, etc… stuff like this happens. I have also heard of accidents where them NOT wearing a seat belt is what saved their life. Once again, this is not a time to fight about what could’ve been or should’ve been. It happened, now we all learn from it… there is nothing else more ANYONE can do.

  • me

    you people have no idea what your even talking about. my dad was there he stopped to help amanda when she was sitting on the side of the road after being ajected and was FINE! she was sitting up and okay when a lady came and hit her, and dragged her over 100 ft. yeah seatbelt could have prevented it, but she was still alive untill the recless driver who wasnt paying attention killed her.

    • that kid

      Tell your dad thank you. I hope that someday I could meet him. I’m sure hes a great father.

  • Tragedy

    Again some of you (SAD) are making comments you know nothing about. This was a tragedy for “both” parties involved!!!

    It was unfortunate that this young woman wasn’t wearing her seat belt.. This will be very hard on her family

    The other tragedy is for the other driver who tried to avoid rear ending a semi truck and slid on the shoulder. Now this person has to live with this for the rest of thier life..

    Don’t throw blame when you WERN’T in either car..

  • D.P.

    Regarding all you ‘seat belt’ junkies out there…yes, the seat belt should have been worn..but let’s not forget that it is NOT the ejection that killed her…the news stories say she survived the initial crash and ejection. It was being hit by the oncoming vehicle that ended her life…so the whole seat belt thing…really doesn’t matter now, does it? Like others have said…it is tragic…very tragic and the moment I heard about this I wanted to scoop that little girl up and hold her knowing her mommy was gone…but let’s give that little girl good memories of her mommy to remember…not all this nonsense bickering back and forth about what could have been, etc. There is a beautiful little girl and a devastated fiance that need a lot of support right now…not blame-throwing. I didn’t know you Amanda, but rest in peace and be your little girls angel…

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