Former Albert Lea student remembered as friendly, kindPublished 1:59pm Tuesday, September 11, 2012
A former Albert Lea youth who was struck and killed while walking to a high school football game last Friday is being remembered as a friendly, bubbly teenager with a kind heart.
Katelin Sawyer, 14, was walking to an Onamia High School football game from a convenience store with three other friends when she was reportedly struck from behind by a car, according to her grandmother, Michele Morehouse. The other three teenagers were not injured.
A Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office news release states the driver of the car has been identified as Michael Kunesh, 38, of rural Onamia. After striking Katelin, Kunesh reportedly stopped and notified authorities of the crash.
Katelin was ultimately transported by ambulance to the Mille Lacs Hospital in Onamia where she later died.
The Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol are continuing to investigate the crash. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor.
Morehouse said the entire community of Onamia has pulled together to support the family. Some students at the school are making bracelets in memory of Katelin, and the girls’ volleyball team planned to wear green shoelaces in honor of the teenager at the Tuesday game. Green was her favorite color.
They were also having green shirts made with her picture.
Morehouse said Katelin was an avid volleyball player for Onamia High School and loved to fish. She was looking forward to going deer hunting for the first time this fall and was anticipating getting her driver’s license.
The daughter of Kris and Gary Voshell, Katelin moved from Albert Lea to Onamia when she was about 7 1/2. She has a 12-year-old sister, Kaycee, and a 6-year-old brother, Jamie.
Morehouse said her granddaughter was a good friend to many other girls her age and was a good listener. Her family was also important to her.
Lisa Morehouse, one of Katelin’s aunts, said she will remember Katelin’s smile and hugs.
“Every time we pulled into the driveway to visit, she was the first out of the house with a giant smile and hugs for everyone,” she said. “She was a kind-hearted individual that would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it.”
A service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Albert Lea, with a visitation one hour prior to the service at the church, 501 S. Washington Ave.