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Students Wear Purple to Honor Wis. Girl Killed in Snowmobile Safety Class

Posted at: 10/28/2013 7:20 PM
Updated at: 10/29/2013 5:53 AM
By: Todd Wilson

It's been a heartbreaking day at Osceola Middle School as friends remember Sarah Thorsland, the 13-year-old who died after a crash at a snowmobile saftey class.

"Everyone was crying and everything because they knew her and she hit the high school wall with a snowmobile," Brett Johnson said. 

Students wore purple Sarah's favorite color and put S. T. on their cheeks in her honor. These kids all want to know what happened to their friend.

Tim Lauridsen is the Chief of Police for Osceola Village. He walked KSTP through what happened Saturday morning at a DNR snowmobile safety class. 

"The acceleration occurred toward the end of the parking lot here. She accelerated for 50 to 70 feet and then off the course and struck a concrete wall," Chief Lauridsen said.

It was clear she was badly hurt. First responders were on scene. And so was her mother, a nurse who tried desperately to help her.

"If it was my child I'm not sure I'd be able to act that way," Chief Lauridsen said.

The class is required in Wisconsin for anyone under 16 who wants to snowmobile. It's been helping teens learn to sled since 1972.

"The instructor who was in charge has 31 years of experience doing this same class in Osceola here," he said.

 On Facebook, there is a page dedicated to Sarah, a girl who loved to dance it says "Rest in Paradise Sarah Thorsland."

"It hurts, because such a young age to see them go through this. We feel bad for the family," A concerned parent said.

The DNR is working with police to figure out what led to this crash.