By Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV

SILVER LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — A 9-year-old girl is dead after an all-terrain vehicle accident in central Minnesota.

Mileka Hall died late Saturday night at her cousin’s house just north of Silver Lake, Minn. Authorities said she was driving an ATV and somehow hit her head.

“She’s just been special since the day she was born,” said Jo Anna Hall, Mileka’ mother.

Hall said she can’t help but smile when she speaks about her little girl, Mileka.

“She’d make anybody smile. She’d smile at strangers. Make sure she said ‘Hi.’ She always finished her conversations with an ‘I love you’ or ‘Love you,'” said Hall.

The little girl, who was named after her grandmother, was the youngest of three sisters. She loved dancing, being a big cousin and fire trucks, just like her grandpa.

“She was wearing this on her wrist last night,” said Hall as she holds the wristband her daughter was wearing when she fell off the ATV and suffered a head injury.

It happened on a cousin’s property, just north of Silver Lake. Mileka was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center where she died from her injuries.

Investigators are not releasing any other details about the accident.

“I have to be strong for her. That’s what she would want,” said Hall.

So on this day set aside for mothers, it has been marked with grief and heartbreak on mother.

“She was more excited about Mother’s Day than I was. I mean, she had the presents wrapped yesterday. They’re sitting there … so I haven’t had the heart to open them yet. I don’t know if I ever will,” said Hall.

Mileka’s mother must now forget about what would have been and concentrate on her message to others.

“If they’re going to go out biking, on a four-wheeler, whatever, please wear a helmet. Please wear a helmet. It makes all the difference. It could have saved her,” said Hall.

In Minnesota, a driver’s license is required to drive an ATV. People under 18 years old are required by law to wear a helmet.

More information on the accident is expected to be released on Monday.

Comments (30)
  1. JackieM says:

    My condolences to her family.

  2. countrygirl says:

    To dots: Can you imagine what is going on with this family right now? This story is not about you or what you would do, it’s about a child that is no longer here, it’s about a family that is mourning a loss. Your comment is the last thing they would like to read. I hope you can find some sympathy for them.

    My most sincere condolences to the family.

  3. Marrrrr says:

    Since the article doesnt really say how the accident happened,exactly what happened in the process of the accident,judgment remarks should be reserved..My condolences to the family of this little girl,You have suffered a terrible loss in your lives.God Bless.

  4. Nicole says:

    I live in Silver Lake and sadden by this story. I don’t know her or the family, but my condolences. You will be my prayers. :'(

  5. Bridget Helmbrecht says:

    I also live in Silver Lake… I learned of the acident this morning eating at Mollys Cafe..I broke into tears for the family. I have children that know her, and know her older siblings.. I am praying for all of them

  6. Silver Lake says:

    I am also a Silver Lake resident. Our community is deeply saddened by this loss, as Mileka and her family are wonderful people. Mileka had the most caring heart and a smile that would light up a room. My deepest condolences to the Hall/Wawrzyniak families and I hope they find comfort in the beautiful memories of Mileka.

  7. Missy Johnson says:

    My kids know her from school. Great kid, Wonderful family. Our hearts are heavy tonight. Many prayers to the family.

  8. alt says:

    many prayers to the family. i’m so so so sorry for your loss

  9. Praying for this family says:

    These parents are not to be blamed for this accident. ATV ownership is very common in the small towns and kids are taught at an early age to operate them. As a father who lost a daughter 4 years ago I can tell you that the ‘what if’s’ and the ‘why’s’ were a constant battle of mine until I realized that there was nothing that I could have done to change the circumstances. I hope and pray that in time this family will be able to progress in grief so they will remember the good times they had with their daughter. Comments from the public about ATV dangers are not welcomed.

    1. Abby says:

      My family lives in a small town and always wanted my daughter to ride and drive their ATV, she is only 5 yrs old now. I have always put my foot down on this subject. I am very sorry for both your loss and this families loss. I do not know the circumstances for your loss or this poor families loss, however the excuse that “everybody else is doing it, it’s okay” is not an acceptable excuse for responsible parenting. My daughter will not be riding an ATV anytime soon, as it clearly states on the adult ATVs that no one under 16 should be riding them. It is no different than a car, and should be treated with respect and responsibility by those of the appropriate maturity level. I LOVE my daughter too much to take that risk. I hope that other parents read this article before it is too late for them.

    2. Sad in MN says:

      I am very sorry for your loss and the loss to this child’s family. I do not know the circumstances behind either loss, however I DO know that “Everybody else is doing it, so it’s okay” is a terrible excuse for a responsible parent to use. Hopefully this story will save some child’s life. Children need parents to be parents.

  10. Woodbury says:

    So very sad! Thoughts and prayers to the family. God Bless.

  11. Kallis/Pope says:

    We seen the chopper come down lastnight a friend called to see if our son was safe as they heard of the accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. As a small town the kids all know eachother by name our hearts will be weighed heavy from Loss of a Daughter, Grandaughter, niece, sister cousin and friend! God please grant her family the strength to get through these tough times.

  12. deanna says:

    all my thoughts and prayers to joanna and her family in this terrible loss. my heart goes out to you

  13. Dave Seavy says:

    I can not begin to imagine the grief, shock and horror this family is facing. My sincerest and deepest sympathy. An innocent young girl was taken from this life for no apparent “divine” reasoning, while thugs, gangs other antisocial assemblies seem to live to a ripe old age.

  14. Lisa Bapp says:

    Joanna and family, We are so sorry to hear about Mileka. We know this family as my daughter Cailie had Joanna as one of her teachers at the Dassel Elementary. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. God is also watching over you.

  15. momof5 says:

    This story is just heartbreaking, it doesn’t matter what the circumstances of her death was, to lose your child on such a special weekend is just tradegic. My heart goes out to this family and it is a good reminder for all of us parents to make sure and tell our kids everyday that we love them because we never know when they could be taken from us.

  16. Kent says:

    What a beautiful little girl…HELMETS, HELMETS, HELMETS.

  17. Karen Klatt says:

    I am from Silver Lake also & my children go to school with her sisters. I watched the helicopter land, knowing something really bad happened to someone. My heart goes out to all the families & prayers to everyone affected by this tragedy.

    1. mom says:

      When you see/hear a helicopter come to the hospital in a small town you know it is serious, my daughter was 1 month old when we had to fly her out from our small town to Childrens in St Paul, it was an experience my family will never forget, my sister was coming into the hospital just as the helicopter landed and there were some teens walking in front of her laughing about it and making inappropriate comments about it being for some old person anyway, she looked at them and told them it was for her 1 month old niece and instead of their rude comments our family could use their prayers and then walked to say goodbye to her niece. Now when ever the copter passes over our house or I see it in the sky, I say a prayer for whoever is going in there. You never think it will be someone you know until it happens to you. Pray that this family will be able to heal in time.

  18. Sad News says:

    This girl’s tragic death was an ACCIDENT………I don’t think anybody is blaming or passing judgment on the parents for helmet/safety issues. But to completely dismiss the importance of safety issues for children is ignorance! Even the mother states in this article the importance of helmets and safety! Unfortunately, accidents can happen in our lives and the results can be devastating, and cause such pain and heartache that affects us for the rest of our life!

  19. HooDatIS? says:


  20. CK-Bear says:

    I knew Mileka just a little bit. For that little hour I talked to her, I saw what a wonderful girl she was. She smiled alot and was very very nice. She would be happy to know how many people loved her. I was one of the people who cried themselves to sleep, even just barely knowing her.Alot of my friends are cousins with her. I pray for her family to get through these hard times. The Little Angel is home now, where she belongs. I wish it didn’t have to be so soon. It was not the parents fault. Remember, it may be stupid to u to wear a helmet, but not to me when they can save lives. <3 Lots of Love <3

  21. Amanda Hasty says:

    Mrs. Hall- I love you very much! I am sorry about Mileka. I remember when she made the cat “Meow” on the computer for us when she came to visit. She is special just like you are. I miss you & can’t wait for you to come back to our classroom.
    Amanda 😉

  22. Classmate of parents says:

    I went to school with Mileka’s parents, and these two are wonderful people! What happened is a tragic accident and this family needs our love and prayers right now. Silver Lake is a small, strong community that will support, stand up for, love and help this family. God bless you all.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Farewell princess…

  24. Strenght says:

    I was a student of Mileka’s mom and she is a very nice person. My prayers are with the Hall family. I am sorry about your loss. May God be with you and your family.

  25. Kristen Ponsford & Sam Cavallaro says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss…my son started Dassel Elementary the same year you started teaching and it was 4th grade. You are a wonderful person and very strong. We are praying for you & your family. God Bless!!

  26. Accidents queens says:

    Adding car systems could be figured out effortlessly and demand the data involving nuclear physics. nOnetheless, it’s not at all something you can do on your own (if you do not individual any …