Saturday, April 5, 2008

A tragic Saturday we will never forget

Our hearts go out to 56572 parents waiting for their children to come home this afternoon. An Albertville resident says it better.

The family of Jessica Weishair wishes to pass this message to our community:

The Weishair family is grateful for the love, concern, and respect that has been offered to us in the sudden death of our precious Jessica. We appreciate the many professionals, community members, friends, and strangers who are supporting us. Even though we are struggling with our grief, we hold in our thoughts those who have been injured and all the students, staff, chaperones and their families who were involved in the band trip. Our community is loving, strong, and faithfilled. These are the very things that we all need to give and receive as we find our way together.

Kim and Stacy, and all of Jessica's family


Charla said...

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families. God Bless

Troy and Charla Seter

applebetty said...

I am praying for everyone involve in this situation.

(Jim, your title of the blog is exactly what I was thinking as I read the story about this tragedy on the Internet.)

Anonymous said...

I am praying for all of you. Josh Ottoson and I were on the scene of this tragedy at 8:45 and pulled over on the side of the road and began praying for all of you. Even as the helicopters lifted into the air flying you to medical centers, your names being lifted before the throne of God. Always in our heats and prayers

Pastor Cory Shreve

Anonymous said...

What a heartbreaking time. I am very sorry for everyone. Prayer is in order. We must be grateful for each day.

Anonymous said...

What do you say? I'm stunned... Prayers are going up for all of the kids, parents, classmates, and communtiy.

Bob Kohler

Anonymous said...

My husband and I are praying for all of the parents involved. Especially Kim and Stacy, please know that we will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers in the years to come.

Lee Stadler said...

A parent's worse nightmare. You are in my prayers. May God comfort you as you struggle to make sense of all of this.

Lori said...

To the community that welcomed me so kindly when I came there are part of a Global Volunteers team, I am so sorry for all the sadness that had suddenly come to your community. My heart dropped when I clicked on the news report link early this morning and saw it was my adopted town of Pelican Rapids. Again I am so sorry.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you, thinking of you, I'm soooo soooo sorry for your loss. Thinking of all the students, parents and especially the weishairs.

Anonymous said...

Our prayers are with all the families involved in this tragic accident, especially Jessica's family, we are so sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

My heart is breaking for Kim, Stacy and family. I just can't imagine the shear horror that they are going through. My thoughts, prayers and love go out to them as well as all families involved.

Rena Kubitz

Anonymous said...

It is unbelievable that something like this would happen to the people of Pelican Rapids. You always hear of things like this and never think it could happen to you and those you know and love. I have lived in PR my entire life and have seen this town pull together through thick and thin. Kim,Stacy,Brooke,Jordan and everyone else involved, you must know that the people of PR are here for you with all the thoughts, love, hugs, prayers and shoulders to cry on that you need...please don't hesitate to use them. We love you and will keep you in our prayers always...

Jane Logue said...

Kim and Stacy,
I do not know if you will read this, but I am away from home and do not know the best way to reach out to you right now. My eyes overflow with tears, my heart overflows with sorrow. As so many here have expressed, your friends, family and community are holding you close and praying that you will find strength in the power of our collective embrace.
Jane Logue

Anonymous said...

Psalm 54:8 - You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your record?

O God,collect our tears.
Tears of sadness -- tears of grief -- tears of anxiety - nervous tears
Tears that don't know why they run like rivers down the face.
Gracious God, collect our tears in your bottle and pour them back on us as life-giving water! Amen.

Our prayers are with all the families and especially with the Weishairs.

Pastor Mark Brickzin
Christ Community Church
Pelican Rapids, MN

Anonymous said...

Our hearts are heavy with sadness for the Weishair's and our prayers are with them as well as all the families involved in this terrible event.

Danielle Engebretson Designs said...

Kim and Stacy, as Dean and I sat down here in Hutchinson, we were praying over this situation, praying for the families, for the kids, for the bus driver, for everyone involved in this, we were so saddended, that any child had to loose their life, let alone your precious gift, Jessica. We are so incredibly sorry for your loss. No words will do, as we just know you want her back, but we both are certain without a doubt, that she is dancing today in the streets of gold with Jesus her savior, and enjoying the sweet scents of heaven, while she worships her King. No more sadness, no more tears, smiles and joy fill her heart as she leaves this fallen world to her eternal life of imperishable perfection, where you will meet her again, in the sky! May you find some comfort in that Hope that Jesus gave us when he died, so that we could live, the best gift he ever gave you was her, for nothing else lasts forever, but people, she who is the gift of a person, who brushed your lives in such a beautiful way will be there waiting for your arrival, when it is your time to reunite with her!

Just know, we will continue to uphold you in prayer here and that you will find rest in the palm of our Lord and Saviors hand, and also please know that our church in Hutchinson is uplifting you and everyone who was involved in this tragedy.

With much love in Christ

Dean and Danielle Engebretson
Hutchinson MN

Anonymous said...

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the students,parents and families, especially Kim,Stacy,Brooke and Jordan. I had heard that other school districts around MN had called our school with their condolences and support. It's one thing to know your community is pulling together in this troubled time but it's amazing to know that you have the outpouring and support from other school districts and others around the state. God Bless.
Brandon and Amanda Tweeton

Anonymous said...

We extend our sympathy in the loss of you daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. We also send prayers for those who are injured - not only in body but in spirit. God has truly found another angel to watch over the rest of us. God bless all of you.

Steve & Ailene Splittgerber said...

We send our prayers and the prayers of our River Falls, WI church to the entire community of Pelican Rapids as the survivors recover and as well as to the Weishairs and all mourning the loss of Jessica. We pray that you will God's comforting arms around you as you grieve and heal. May God's grace and strength carry the community and all families involved through this time.

Andrew Evenson said...

I can't put into words how much my heart aches for all of the victims of the accident and their families. My heart especially goes out to Kim, Stacy, Brooke, and Jordan. I can't even begin to imagine how hard this time must be for you, but I hope you can take some comfort in the fact that I and so many others will be praying for you. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

To the family of Jessica and my many friends in Pelican Rapids, my heart goes out to you. You are in my thoughts and prayers. N Vyskocil, Bemidji

Anonymous said...

Since we are over 1000 miles away the news of this tragedy reached us first via Jim's Blog. Our prayers and tears have been with all those affected.
Our special prayers are for Jessica on her passage to her promised home and for her family.
May our God's graces be with all those mourning and injured.

Ren Mr Joe Hilber & Nancy

Amanda said...

Jim - if you could publish this on your main page, I think a lot of people would appreciate it.


A huge thank you is owed to many people for the way they pulled together and supported the community of Pelican Rapids on Saturday and every day since then.

I wrote what is attached below as a letter to the Pelican Press yesterday, but, because of deadlines, I'm not sure that it made it in. At the bottom is a list of addresses in and near Albertville to which thank yous may be sent if anyone wishes.

"The terrible events of Saturday morning are still very fresh and very painful in all of our minds. Only time can heal the wounds and emotions still raw in the wake of this tragedy and the loss of a well-known and beloved community member.

I was awakened in the early hours of Saturday morning by a phone call, not knowing that I would spend the rest of the longest day I can remember in hospitals, parish centers, and schools, dealing with my own emotions while also trying to support those involved and concerned. As I stumbled through the day, however, I was astounded at the number of people pulling together, providing support for each other. Though there is a lot to grieve about, there is also a lot to be thankful for.

The way the community of Pelican Rapids has pulled together in support of one another in a time of need is something we should all be proud of. A huge thanks is owed to many people. To the Pelican Rapids school staff, faculty, and administration, who immediately responded to the terrible news with planning and support. To the Pelican Rapids Police, who assisted with the students’ return. To friends and family members of those involved and to the entire community of Pelican, who rallied together in a tough time, relaying messages, greeting and protecting those returning, and for all of the thoughts, prayers, hugs, and presence. To the students of Bus 2, who immediately donated their blankets to the students involved in the accident, relayed messages, and supported their classmates. To director Sean Fitzsimmons and all the bus chaperones, who remained calm in the midst of dealing with their own injuries and emotions and ensured the care and safe return of all of the students. An especially huge thanks is owed to Paul Pfeifle, who immediately stepped up and took charge of the situation, organizing and caring for everyone involved.

There are many other people I am sure I am forgetting; please, know that your contributions of love and support, however small, are so very appreciated.

Outside of our community, as well, there are many people who deserve a huge thank you. On a Saturday morning, bus drivers, hospital staff, paramedics, policemen, firemen, and numerous volunteers from the area surrounding Albertville donated a lot of time, space, money, food, gas, and support, ensuring that the safety and welfare of the Pelican Rapids community was cared for. A list of some of those involved and where acknowledgement may be sent can be found below.

Though we are all exhausted and still trying to understand and cope with what happened, please take a moment as you feel ready to thank those around you for their support of our community. Some of these wounds will never heal and we cannot rewind the clock, but we can take some solace in realizing the great strength of our community and the support of our fellow men.

Amanda Dutcher
1536 Hewitt Ave., #0706
St. Paul, MN 55104

Thank yous may be sent to:

American Red Cross, Central Minnesota Chapter
1301 W. St. Germain St.
St. Cloud, MN 56301
c/o Scott Grother, Volunteer Coordinator

City of Albertville
5959 Main Avenue NE
P. O. Box 9
Albertville, MN 55301
Ron Klecker, Mayor:
Tate Mills, Fire Chief,

The Parish of St. Albert
St. Albert Catholic Church
PO Box 127
Albertville, Minnesota, 55301

The Lions Club of Albertville
P.O. Box 82
Albertville MN 55301

Albertville BP
11438 County Road 37 NE
Albertville , MN 55301

Mercy Hospital, Coon Rapids
4050 Coon Rapids Blvd.
Coon Rapids, MN 55433
An e-mail form is available at:

Buffalo Hospital
303 Catlin Street
Buffalo, MN 55313
An e-mail form is available at:

Monticello-Big Lake Hospital
1013 Hart Boulevard
Monticello, MN 55362
an e-mail form is available at:

North Memorial Hospital, Robbinsdale
3300 Oakdale Ave N
Robbinsdale, MN 55422
An e-mail form is available at:

Minnesota State Patrol - D2600
3725 12th Street North
St. Cloud, MN 56303

Wright County Sheriff’s Office
10 2nd Street NW - Room 170
Buffalo, MN 55313-1197

If you prefer to publish a thank you in a newspaper, you may send it to:

St. Michael-Albertville North Crow River News
11 E. Central Ave., Box 204
St. Michael, MN 55376

Monticello Times
116 East River St.
PO Box 420
Monticello, MN 55362

Coon Rapids Herald
4101 Coon Rapids Blvd.
Coon Rapids, MN, 55433

Wright County Journal Press
PO Box 159
Buffalo, MN 55313-0159

Robbinsdale Sun Post
10917 Valley View Road
Eden Prairie MN 55344-3730"

Alexis smischny said...

I'm very sorry for your loss. To kim, Stacy, Brooke and Jordan i am sending my love and prayers and a big thanks to everyone who helped everyone else
Alexis Smischny

Anonymous said...

Thank you to Haley Hoyer for the media interview. She put aside her physical and emotional pain to allow caring strangers to feel a part of the tragedy. One of many remarkably strong and compassionate teens and adults on the two buses.