ISANTI, Minn. (WCCO) — A mother is dead and two of her children badly hurt after a 16-year old ran a stop sign in Isanti on Sunday evening.

Friends and neighbors of 30-year-old Christin Birkholz, the woman killed in the crash, say she will be remembered most as a loving mother. Her three children, 1-year-old Mason, 4-year-old Bailey and 10-year-old Logan, were all in the vehicle at the time of the crash. Mason and Logan are both in serious condition at Hennepin County Medical Center while Bailey was treated and released from the hospital.

Several of the moms who live in her neighborhood have kids with similar ages. They say they’re missing one of the most prized members of their support group.

“She was a great mom, very concerned about her kids — and their safety,” friend Heidi Streiff said.

One of Christin’s other friends, Megan Bergman, was also on the county roads Sunday night, just minutes before the crash.

“We had actually been detoured from that accident. We were on our way home from Chicago and we saw the helicopter land and we just thought, ‘Something’s not good there,'” Bergman said.

But she never imagined what happened next.

“We saw the two police officers come down the street and slow down by their house,” Bergman said.

Bergman said her head immediately went back to last thing she heard from Birkholz.

“She said … ‘We’ll see you when you get home, have a safe trip.’ And just to think back to that moment and then know that now I’m not going to see her,” Berman said.

Bergman’s child is best friends with 4-year-old Bailey. The support group for Christin, or “Chrissy” as they call her, said they will work to bring normalcy to her children’s lives. They say, in turn, they’ve learned life’s great lesson the hard way.

“Any day could be your last day and you just got to make sure you tell the people you love that you love them every day, and just the little things that we worry about really don’t matter,” Streiff said.

Click here to ready the original report on the accident.

Comments (19)
  1. Mike says:

    Chrissy was not the mother of the eldest child. Please keep his Mother and his other family in your thoughts and prayers as well for his recovery. Thank you.

    1. Ellen says:

      Another very tragic accident that affected many people. And another young mother that failed to buckle up and lost her life accordingly. Not that long ago a young mother from Kimball lost control on a curve and died because she wasn’t buckled up. Sad too for the 16 year old driver that caused the crash. Wonder if her mother
      wasn’t paying enough attention to notice the stop sign herself.

      1. sad says:

        NO ONE is to blame for this accident. It was just that…… accident. In your comment you wrote “sad for the 16 yr old that caused the crash”. Yes it is very sad for the 16 yr old, but that 16 yr old didn’t CAUSE the crash, it was an accident. One that the 16 yr old will never forget……..believe me, we know first hand what happens when your own child is involved in an accident where another looses their life. They are tramatized for life in more ways than you can ever imagine. Remember to keep everyone in your prayers and don’t be quick to judge anyone and choose your words carefully.

        1. Jed says:

          You are an idiot. She did cause it.

          1. sad says:

            I guess you should look in the mirror before calling anyone names!!

            1. Nicole says:

     are correct in saying that this was an accident, but it was clearly the 16-year-old’s fault for causing the accident. Is she to blame for the mother’s death? No. It was a mistake on her part.

      2. Rjohnson says:

        Shame on you for saying she lost her life “accordingly”. Were you in the car with her? Maybe she unbuckled for a reason.. Seatbelt or not, no one deserves to lose their life…

      3. Tim says:

        “Lost her life accordingly”…According to what? Is there a manual written that states you die accordingly to your actions? Are you kidding me…Can you be any more condescending or insensitive?

        These people lost their lives because the were in an accident. Yes, a seat belt can improve your chance to live, but its no guarantee. I am just amazed how bad this post is.

        My prayers go to the family and hope her children pull through.

    2. Nicole says:

      Thank you Mike for clarifying this. I’m a good friend of the oldest child’s mother and it was irritating me.

      1. Jen says:

        Mike and Nicole-I am glad that this was clarified as well. Prayers to Marcia, David and the rest of the Smeby-Curtis family in addition to the Birkholz family.

  2. Megan says:

    Just an FYI: The news was informed that Chrissie was not Logan’s biological mother and that they we did not know Logan’s mother’s name or where she lived. Chrissie was a dear friend and I am always horrified of what ignorant people have to say about things they know nothing of. Accidents are accidents, and people are people. We are not invincible, and bad things happen to good people. Please remember that a beautiful young woman lost her life due to an accident. My brother died in a snowmobile accident, helmet and all. Is that accordingly? Hmm…think before you speak. Or type.

  3. Rjohnson says:

    I agree with Tim.. It is a horrible tragedy and the family is grieving enough.. I hope that they don’t read such trash that ignorant people decide to post about their loss.

  4. tom says:

    This as well as other crashes caused or involving younger drivers, 16-18 will always be happening. Why? Because the 16-18 years olds do not have the mental capacity to know that they are driving a 3000 pound killing machine. It takes alot of driving to be comfortable at the wheel. To know your route, what a stop sign means, a no passing zone, a yield sign. The kids driving today just do not get the picture. I say pass a law where they cannot drive without a adult with 5 years experience driving beside them. i know boo hoo, but read your news, watch the news and hear or read how many deaths on the road are people under the age of 21. Think About it.

    1. Jim R. says:

      ” I say pass a law where they cannot drive without a adult with 5 years experience driving beside them.” So apparently you missed the part of the story where this kid had her 47 year old mother with her in the van when they apparently both missed the stop sign.

  5. Cass says:

    I would just like everyone to know, that they have the story wrong. She was wearing a seatbelt!!!!! Do not judge by what is written. She was an amazing mother, sister, wife and daughter! Her kids lost the most amazing woman. Please continue to keep them in your prayers!

    1. Hopeful says:

      I also found it VERY hard to believe that she wasn’t wearing her seat-belt! Anybody that know’s her or the family knows this. But yes ALWAYS BUCKLE UP!

  6. Hopeful says:

    Logan and Mason are doing better, and Logan’s mother is VERY grateful that her son (as well as Bailey, and Mason) are here with us. She is deeply saddened by the loss of Chrisi. Thoughts and prayers are appreciated. This was a very tragic accident, and everybody needs to remember that the family needs support, not criticism.

    1. Sad says:

      Thank you for the update and advice. We’ll keep them all in our prayers.

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