By Jennifer Mayerle

FOREST LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — An SUV hit and killed a high school student Monday as she was leaving summer school. The Jeep Grand Cherokee struck 18-year-old Catherine Loahr near Forest Lake High School as she crossed Highway 97 at Goodview Avenue.

“I just am praying for the family,” Kalyn Windingstad said.

Windingstad was on the bus when she saw Loahr lying in the road.

“It was terrible. There was a white van that stopped and a girl was trying to help her, her friend was on the side just panicking and crying,” Windingstad said.

The State Patrol said Loahr was crossing Highway 97 near the school around 1 p.m. on Monday, when a driver turned from Goodview Avenue onto 97 and hit her. The 65-year-old driver was not injured.

“It just makes you realize how much time that you don’t have with people that you really care about,” Windingstad said.

Students who witnessed the aftermath of the crash said it puts life into perspective.

“I don’t know her personally so, I mean, I wish I could have,” Nikole Labatte said.

And they said they realize everything can change without warning.

“You got to cherish the moments you have with people because you don’t have them for as long as you’d like,” Windingstad said.

Forest Lake Area Schools Superintendent Linda Madsen sent this note:

Dear Families and Staff –

As you may have heard, there was an incident this afternoon following the release of summer school. While walking at the intersection of Goodview Avenue and Hwy 97, a high school student was struck and killed by a vehicle. The State Patrol is currently investigating, and further details are not yet available.

Some students may have witnessed the event. If they, or anyone else, is in need of counseling at this time, they can call the Mobile Crisis Team at 651-777-5222 and press option 3. Extra staff, including counselors, will be available at Century Junior High tomorrow prior to school and throughout the school day for anyone in need of support.

Our support and thoughts are with the family.

Jennifer Mayerle

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