MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Family, friends and classmates of a teenager killed in a car accident gathered Friday night to remember her.

Anna Bird was a 14-year-old freshman at Prior Lake High School.

She was a passenger in the car driven by 18-year-old Austin Knudson. He’s in serious condition. Another passenger, 15-year-old Sydney Sloan, is critically hurt at HCMC. All three were wearing seatbelts when the car went off the road and hit a tree Thursday night in Credit River Township.

Students streamed into St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Savage to try to make sense of an accident that doesn’t make sense at all.

“It’s hard to go at 14, just such a young age,” classmate Dylan Larson said. “Just such an amazing person.”

Bird was a talented lacrosse and hockey player. Friends called the freshman a bright, positive person who always made others smile.

“Everyone loved her,” Larson said. “She was an amazing person.”

The Scott County Sheriff’s Office said speed and icy road conditions were likely factors in the accident.

Father Mike Tix said students were searching for comfort and consolation Friday night. It was apparent at the end of the vigil.

“The hugs and the handshakes and the tears and the sobs,” Tix said. “It’s very real how deep it hurt.”

“It’s going to be a rough road,” neighbor Noah LaSalvia said. “It was really tough hearing all those things, looking over at my neighbors crying. It was just heartbreaking.”

Bird’s parents were at the vigil. Tix said they are holding on to faith on a night they wish they were holding their daughter.

“I think the love and support from so many people was a good thing for them,” Tix said. “In the midst of something so tragic, they’re not alone.”

The family of Knudson, who was driving the car, said Friday night he is in ICU with major facial trauma. His mom said Knudson told her the road was covered with ice and this was a tragic accident. They offer their deepest condolences to the Birds.

Jennifer Mayerle

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