Crash update: ‘Our hearts go out to both families’

Law enforcement, school district address impacts of crash that killed 13-year-old boy—

Cambridge Middle School is offering support to its students and their families, along with teachers and staff, a day after the crash that claimed one of its students.

Colin Nathaniel Larson

Colin Nathaniel Larson

Colin Nathaniel Larson, 13, an eighth grader at CMS, died when the bicycle he was riding was struck by a vehicle driven by a 16-year-old male Thursday afternoon, Oct. 17. It happened near the Cambridge airport, by the intersection of Hillary Circle and 329th Avenue in Cambridge Township.

Larson died at the scene, while the driver of the Pontiac Grand Am, from Cambridge, sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to the hospital for evaluation.

As of this time, no arrests or citations have been issued.

“Under state statute, we cannot release the name of the 16-year-old because the incident is under investigation,” Isanti County Chief Deputy Sheriff Chris Caulk said on Friday.

It was the start of MEA weekend, just before 3 p.m. when Larson was bicycling southbound on Hillary Circle to a neighbor’s home off 329th Avenue. The collision occurred as the car was westbound on 329th. There, an intersection is controlled by a stop sign for southbound traffic entering onto 329th Avenue from Hillary Circle, the sheriff’s office said by press release.

Following the crash, the driver of the car remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation. He was later released to his parents.

“Our hearts go out to both families who are grieving, distraught over what happened,” Caulk said. “Even the first responders are certainly sad. It affects all of us because we’re all parents, we’re all neighbors. It especially hurts when children are involved.”

On Friday morning, a bouquet of flowers lies near the scene of Thursday’s crash that took the life of 13-year-old Colin Larson. Photos by Jon Tatting

On Friday morning, a bouquet of flowers lies near the scene of Thursday’s crash that took the life of 13-year-old Colin Larson. Photos by Jon Tatting

At Cambridge Middle School, a letter is being sent to all parents and staff as “an opportunity for them to discuss (the incident) with their children,” explained Robyn Vosberg-Torgerson, director of finance for the school district. She spoke on behalf of Superintendent Ray Queener, who was out of the office on Friday.

CMS principal Charlie Burroughs also will read the letter via video on the school’s webpage as found on the district’s website. (Click here for that video). The letter contains a statement on how parents can help their children cope with the loss of a classmate. Counselors, local clergy and district personnel will be available to students on Monday and as needed, too, Vosberg-Torgerson explained.

“We have made a resource available on the CMS website  on how to talk to your students about these difficult situations,” Burroughs read. “We will also have counselors, district personnel and local clergy available all day on Monday to provide help for students and staff to have someone to talk to about this tragic situation. We know this is a difficult time in our school district family. We ask you to keep Colin Larson’s family in your thoughts and prayers as we work through this challenging situation.”

Funeral arrangements for Larson include a public visitation from 1-4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22 at First Baptist Church, 304 Main. St. S, in Cambridge. A public service of remembrance will also be held that same evening at 4 p.m., also at First Baptist.

The crash occurred near the intersection of Hillary Circle and 329th Avenue, next to the Cambridge airport, in Cambridge Township.

The crash occurred near the intersection of Hillary Circle and 329th Avenue, next to the Cambridge airport, in Cambridge Township.

The junior and senior high youth at First Baptist will also host a gathering at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19. Memorials are preferred to Larson’s family. A Colin Larson Memorial Fund has been established at MinnCo Credit Union, 235 West First Ave. in Cambridge.

The crash remains under investigation by the Isanti County Sheriff’s Office and Isanti County Attorney’s Office,  with assistance from the medical examiner’s office. Also involved is the Minnesota State Patrol, which is reconstructing the crash to determine speed and any other contributing factors. Voluntary blood draws were taken, as well.

Assisting at the scene were Cambridge Police, Cambridge Fire, Isanti County Safety and Rescue and Allina Ambulance.

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