TOWN OF HAMBURG, Vernon County, Wisconsin (WXOW) - a 17-year-old Chaseburg teen is dead from injuries she suffered in a one car accident Sunday afternoon.
Vernon County Sheriff John Spears says Kylie Von Ruden was driving on Dodson Hollow Road around 237pm when she lost control of her vehicle. The department's investigation showed the vehicle went onto the right shoulder of the road, came back onto the road, slid off to the right, and hit a mailbox. The vehicle then went airborne and struck a large tree.
Coon Valley Fire and First Responders had to use the Jaws of Life to remove Von Ruden from her vehicle.
She was taken to Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, where she died Sunday evening.
News of Kylie's accident spread quickly among her friends. More than 20 students, parents and the Westby High School principal gathered at the hospital Sunday night.
"A lot of tears. It has and it hasn't sunk in at this point," said Kay Bluske, one of Kylie's teachers and cheerleading coach.
Monday morning, dozens of her friends, family and teachers gathered to remember her at Westby Middle School.
"You get to know the students really well," said Ken Manning, the Westby High School Principal.
"We're a small school. And we're just one family when you get right down to it, and everybody rallies around each other."
"She was very enthusiastic, fun, loves to have a good time. Just kind of brings everybody up that's around her," said Bluske.
Classmates shared memories and wrote messages to Kylie on a banner.
Principal Manning says the 17-year-old cheerleader was also an excellent student and softball player.
"I gave her a hard time, one day. She came up to bat and I happened to be taping it," Manning said. "And I said, 'Kylie, I thought you were gonna get that home run.' She hit a triple. And I said you know, with a little more oomph, into the teeth of the wind. And she had this huge smile on her face and she goes, 'next time around.'"
Kylie would have been a senior at Westby High this September.
"It will be difficult to start the year but I know that, in my heart, the kids will in some way, shape or form, dedicate the year to Kylie," Manning said.
Bluske says the girls will have to cheer a little louder this season because they will be one team member short.
"You definitely won't fill a spot like that," Bluske said. "She'll be missed and hopefully we can celebrate her life and take care of each other."
The family is working on funeral arrangements, and school officials will also plan something in Kylie's memory for the beginning of the school year.