Teen born in Austin struck, killed by carPublished 11:10am Wednesday, September 12, 2012
A 14-year-old girl born in Austin who was struck and killed while walking to a high school football game last Friday is being remembered as a friendly, bubbly teenager with a kind heart.
Katelin Sawyer was walking to an Onamia High School football game from a convenience store with three friends when she was struck from behind by a car, according to her grandmother, Michele Morehouse. The other three teenagers were not injured.
A Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s office news release identifies the driver as Michael Kunesh, 38, of rural Onamia. After striking Katelin, Kunesh reportedly stopped and called 911.
Katelin was transported by ambulance to the Mille Lacs Hospital in Onamia, where she died.
The Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s office and the Minnesota State Patrol are investigating the crash. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor.
Morehouse said the entire community of Onamia has pulled together to support the family. Some students at the school are making bracelets in memory of Katelin, and the girls’ volleyball team, which Katelin was a member of, plans to wear green shoelaces and have green shirts made with her picture at its game Tuesday. Green was her favorite color.
Morehouse said Katelin loved to fish, and was looking forward to going deer hunting for the first time this fall. She was also anticipating getting her driver’s license.
Katelin is the daughter of Kris and Gary Voshell. The family moved from Austin to Albert Lea in 1998, and from Albert Lea to Onamia in 2005, when Katelin was about 7 1⁄2. She has a 12-year-old sister, Kaycee, and a 6-year-old brother, Jamie.
Morehouse said her granddaughter was a good friend to many girls her age and was a good listener. Her family was also important to her.
Lisa Morehouse, Katelin’s aunt, said she will remember Katelin’s smile and hugs.
“Every time we pulled into the driveway to visit, she was the first out of the house with a giant smile and hugs for everyone,” she said. “She was a kind-hearted individual that would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it.”
A service will be at 1 p.m. Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church, 501 S. Washington Ave. in Albert Lea, with a visitation one hour before the service at the church. Another service will be held at 2 p.m. today at the Onamia High School Gymnasium, 35465 125th Ave., Onamia.