MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It started as a weekend filled with fun and work, but it ended in the worst of ways for two teenage girls.

Taylor Wieland and Cheyenne Mikkelson were both killed Saturday morning. Both were students at New Prague High School. Their car crashed into a tree just feet away from where they were going to report to work at the Renaissance Festival.

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The accident happened around 7 a.m. Saturday on a service road west of Highway 41 in Jackson Township. Officers are still investigating what happened, but say that neither girl was wearing a seat belt. Both girls were 17 years old.

Wendy Wieland is Taylor’s mother.

“There’s no way to express it, it’s a totally different loss when you lose a child,” Wendy said.

Taylor’s family says they still haven’t absorbed that their free-spirited and hard-working daughter and her free-spirited best friend are gone. She says Taylor was planning to graduate high school early, go to tech school for construction maintenance and work with her two brothers and father.

Cheyenne’s mom sent these words:

“We are humbled at how many lives our daughter has touched. She was an amazing gentle soul who would always put her friends and loved ones. We cannot express the devastation and loss we her parents and 3 siblings are experiencing. Thank you for everyone’s thoughts prayers and support during this tragic time,” she said in a statement.

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Feelings Taylor’s family is sharing. With tears in his eyes, Taylor’s father Ronnie said, “It’s not easy.”

“Get the message out to kids to slow down drive safe,” Taylor’s brother, Martin, said.

And so they’ll say goodbye to the girls they say way walked through life side by side, until the very end. If you’d like to help Taylor and Cheyenne’s families pay for their funerals, here is how you can.

A GoFundMe has been created for Wieland.

A GoFundMe has also been created for Mikkelson.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner and Scott County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the crash.


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Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield