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State Patrol reconstructs Coleraine accident between car, school bus that killed teen

Emerald "Emmy" Foss

An Iron Range community is mourning the loss of a young life taken in a violent crash Friday afternoon in Coleraine.

Eighteen-year-old Emerald "Emmy" Foss was traveling with two other teens when the driver of the car pulled in front of a school bus carrying the Ely High School football team.

State troopers and Coleraine police were at the scene Saturday, reconstructing the accident.

Foss of Bovey was a passenger in a Ford Taurus driven by 18-year-old Hailey Salo of Grand Rapids. Also aboard was Paige Anderson, 16, of Bovey.

The car, which was on Curley Avenue, apparently pulled out in front of the school bus, which was traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 169 about 3:30 p.m. The bus hit the car broadside.

"They ended up in the southeast corner of the intersection, down in the ditch," Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Paul Blaha said.

"There was a lot of turmoil with trying to get student athletes off the bus -- coaches, managers, trainers -- and get them away from the scene of the accident," said Mark Adams, superintendent of the Greenway and Nashwauk-Keewatin public school districts. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the three students that were involved in the accident."

Foss, Salo and Anderson were airlifted to Duluth for medical care. Foss, who graduated from Greenway High School earlier this year, died in St. Mary's emergency room about 6 p.m. Friday.

Salo was upgraded to stable condition Saturday at St. Luke's hospital. Anderson remained in critical condition.

No one on the bus was seriously injured.

A Facebook tribute page set up in Foss' honor had drawn more than 300 members Saturday. Family and friends shared photos, condolences and memories of Foss.

Foss' mother, Linda, issued a statement to Fox 21:

"I'll miss my daughter very much. My heart goes out to the families of the other girls. I'll keep them in my prayers. I pray that they never have to go through something like this. Emmy was my only child and I don't know what I'm going to do. But I know that my beautiful daughter is lighting up heaven with her smile."

In the wake of the accident, the Minnesota State Patrol is looking for answers.

"To see a school bus not coming is the question. Why wasn't it seen? It's a pretty big object coming down the road," Blaha said. "The school bus stayed upright. Had it rolled further or tipped over in the ditch, we'd have had quite a problem on our hands."

When school starts on Monday morning at Greenway High, Adams plans to have counselors on hand to help students cope with the loss.

"Families, friends and communities pull together in times of tragedy, and this is certainly one of those times," he said. "We will be working collectively to make sure that students, staff and our families have all the support and counseling or any other resources they need to get through this very challenging time."

A funeral for Foss will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Grand Rapids Alliance Church.