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At crash memorial, an ‘outpouring of love’ for 2 high school juniors

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. -- More than 250 students stood silent and motionless around the solid wooden crosses commemorating the lives of Mounds View High School students Stephanie Carlson and Bridget Giere, both 16.

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. -- More than 250 students stood silent and motionless around the solid wooden crosses commemorating the lives of Mounds View High School students Stephanie Carlson and Bridget Giere, both 16.

The girls died in a Thursday morning car crash in Arden Hills as they drove to the school, where they were both juniors. Samantha “Sammy” Redden, 17, was with her friends and was injured in the crash.

The loss of the girls has left their families, classmates and communities reeling.

But it has also inspired an “outpouring of love,” said Catherine Carlson, Stephanie Carlson’s mother, as she offered her mittens and scarf to students shivering in the damp cold at Monday afternoon’s memorial service at the crash site.

“This was amazing,” Carlson said. “I hope they never stop loving. … You hear about how our country is divided, but then you see this. This is positive. This is beautiful, and I’m just so thankful.”

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Despite heavy traffic, a memorial took shape shortly after the crash at Ramsey County Road 96 and Old Highway 10.

Knowing students would continue visiting to leave tributes to their classmates, the school worked with Ramsey County to shut down the traffic lane closest to the memorial, allowing students safer access Monday afternoon.

“We’ve been going to school with all these girls since sixth grade, so it’s hard not to know them,” said junior class representative Jocelyn Landwehr. “The first few days have been sad. It’s been scary. People are really reflecting in many, many ways.”

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